- the stage of the myeloma and how it is affecting you
- what treatments you have had before
- your general health
- whether high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant are part of your treatment plan.
Each combination of drugs includes a steroid. This will either be dexamethasone or prednisolone. Sometimes you may have thalidomide on its own or just with a steroid, usually dexamethasone.
Thalidomide was originally developed to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. Its use was stopped because it was found to cause birth defects. Thalidomide is now used as a treatment for cancer, but it must not be taken in pregnancy. A pregnancy prevention programme must be followed during treatment.