Why am I receiving this leaflet?

You are currently being treated with lenalidomide. This medicine is also known by its brand name Revlimid®. Until recently, only one manufacturer produced lenalidomide (Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals). Lenalidomide is now available from other manufacturers because it is no longer protected by a patent.

The versions of lenalidomide from other manufacturers are known as generic equivalents. Using generic equivalents can be more cost-effective for the NHS.

From March 2023, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will start to use generic equivalents of lenalidomide. A generic equivalent of lenalidomide will be provided for future cycles of treatment.

You may notice that the capsules you receive come in different packaging and the colour of the capsules and their markings may also be different.

How should I take generic lenalidomide?

Generic lenalidomide should be taken the same way as you took lenalidomide (Revlimid®).


  •  Take lenalidomide at the same time each day, preferably in the evening.
  •  Swallow the capsules whole with water; do not open or chew them. 
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Caregivers and family members should wear disposable gloves when handling the blister packaging or capsule. Gloves should then be removed carefully and disposed of safely.

What does this change mean for me?

Capsules of the same strength of generic lenalidomide and Revlimid® contain the same amount of active ingredient (lenalidomide). For example, Revlimid® 10mg capsules contain the same amount of lenalidomide as 10mg capsules of generic lenalidomide so the treatment you receive will remain unchanged.

Your team at Clatterbridge will continue to do the same tests and checks that they do while you are being treated with Revlimid®.

There are very small differences between the excipients (non-active ingredients) in generic lenalidomide and Revlimid®. We would not expect these small differences to cause any significant problems.

The side effects of generic lenalidomide products are expected to be the same as Revlimid®. As before the switch to generic lenalidomide, if you experience any side effects from your treatment, you should report it to your team at Clatterbridge.

Is the pregnancy advice the same for generic lenalidomide?

Generic lenalidomide contains the same active ingredient (lenalidomide) as Revlimid®. Both Revlimid® and generic lenalidomide products are expected to harm unborn babies, so avoid pregnancy or making someone pregnant while you are taking lenalidomide.

If you are able to become pregnant when you switch to generic lenalidomide, you will still need to provide confirmation to your team at Clatterbridge that the necessary pregnancy prevention measures have been taken.

Further advice

If you have further queries about lenalidomide or generic equivalents, please discuss these with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist in the Clatterbridge team responsible for your care.