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Author Topic: What is thalidomide?  (Read 3712 times)

Offline paulat

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What is thalidomide?
« on: 22/01/2004 16:00:31 »
Can someone please tell me about thalidomide. I overheard someone talking about it the other day, and vaguely remember it causing serious problems in the past, but just wondered if anyone could enlighten me please?

PT
« Last Edit: 17/05/2013 23:02:06 by chris »


 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Thalidomide
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2004 22:12:46 »
As I remember, it was given as a tranquilizer during pregnancy, and resulted in the children being born with missing or seriously deformed limbs.  I think there was a big shake up with the FDA after that, and the trials became more stringent before a drug could be relased.  And at that, we still had the Phen-Fen problem.  

I read something a while back that Thalidomide has some use in preventing or reducing the neovascularization that tumors promote, thus, it has a use for cancer treatment.
 

Offline cuso4

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Re: Thalidomide
« Reply #2 on: 23/01/2004 12:19:42 »
Thalidomide can exist as a pair of enantiomers. The thalidomide synthesised in industry is a mixture of D and L forms. One form (can't remember which one) can treat morning sicknesses in pregnant women. The other caused deformed babies being born (like bezoar said).

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Offline paulat

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Re: Thalidomide
« Reply #3 on: 23/01/2004 12:53:35 »
Thanks.

What Phen-Fen by the way ?

P
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Thalidomide
« Reply #4 on: 24/01/2004 00:07:04 »
Angel, I think I stand corrected.  Thalidomide, I believe, was used to treat morning sickness, and the rash of deformed babies ensued.  Phen-Fen is the combination of two pills taken to treat obesity.  Apparently, both were tested and deemed safe, however, the combination of the two resulted in heart valve damage and, in some cases, pulmonary hypertension.  A high price to pay for lardaceousness.
 

Offline confusious says

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Re: Thalidomide
« Reply #5 on: 17/05/2013 16:55:07 »
As far as I know, my mother was offered the drug, but thankfully she declined it back in the late 40's /early 50's, it was a drug manufactured by a German drug company for a specific treatment, but was also found whilst in use or during tests, that it stopped the morning sickness in pregnancy, but sadly this was later found out to be a high price to pay because this also had a side effect of creating deformed births.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Thalidomide
« Reply #6 on: 17/05/2013 19:30:00 »
Thalidomide can exist as a pair of enantiomers. The thalidomide synthesised in industry is a mixture of D and L forms. One form (can't remember which one) can treat morning sicknesses in pregnant women. The other caused deformed babies being born (like bezoar said).

Obviously, the drug will never be tested in pregnant women again.  Apparently in rat studies, one enantiomer was teratogenic.  However, tests in rabbits apparently demonstrated that both enatiomers still had teratogenic effects.

Notes indicate that there is some in-vivo conversion between enatomers, so that even if one was dosed with a single enatomer, eventually one would get some of both in the serum.  Although, it may reduce the serum concentrations of the bad enatomer somewhat.

Morning Sickness occurs during one of the most critical fetal developmental periods.  And, thus the dangers of giving medications during that time period.

There has been research in the use of Thalidomide for other conditions.  In particular, it has been used for the treatment of Leprosy, but other medications may be safer.  It has also been used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, and perhaps other cancer treatments.
 

Offline chris

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Re: What is thalidomide?
« Reply #7 on: 17/05/2013 23:05:51 »
We ran an interview on thalidomide the year before last, on the 50th anniversary of its use. I spoke with Neil Vargesson, from Aberdeen, who is working on how the agent works, being as it is a very effective treatment for myeloma, leprosy, other malignancies and even HIV:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/1785/

Chris
 

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Re: What is thalidomide?
« Reply #7 on: 17/05/2013 23:05:51 »

 

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