The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included. Ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications only as recommended by your doctor, and according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
Medications may help to prevent, reduce, or manage side effects of treatment. Talk to your doctor about any symptoms that you have from either the treatment or the medication.
Common names include: PamidronateClodronateErythropoietin
often damages the bones. Bisphosphonates are used to prevent bone pain and
by helping the body restore and repair bone that has been damaged by the growth of myeloma cells.
Pamidronate is given as an injection. Clodronate is given daily by mouth. These drugs are used in addition to
chemotherapy. They work by blocking the further breakdown of bone.
Possible side effects include: Nausea or vomitingDecreased appetiteBone, joint, or muscle painFever (pamidronate)Stomach pain (pamidronate)Difficulty sleeping (pamidronate)Cough, runny nose (pamidronate)Fatigue (pamidronate)Headache (pamidronate)Anemia (pamidronate)Diarrhea
Low calcium levels—hypocalcemia (clodronate)
Common names include: MorphineOxycodoneFentanylHydromorphoneMethadone
Multiple myeloma can result in chronic and severe back pain. To relieve pain, the doctor may prescribe opioids. They are an effective group of medications if taken as prescribed and under a doctor's supervision. Your doctor will monitor you while you are taking them.
Possible side effects include: ConstipationSleepinessLightheadednessNausea or vomitingItchy skin
Serious side effects may include difficulty breathing and low blood pressure.
may be done if your blood has become too thick from the presence of abnormal antibodies created by multiple myeloma. Plasmapheresis is a process that separates blood components, including the fluid part of the blood (plasma) that contains the abnormal antibodies.
Blood is taken out of the body through one of two tubes. It is spun in a machine that separates plasma from the rest of the blood. The blood cells are mixed with replacement plasma or a plasma substitute. The new mixed blood is then returned to the body through the other tube.
Plasmapheresis is used to help control symptoms of multiple myeloma. Results are not permanent, but the process can be repeated if needed.
Spinal compression fractures are a complication of multiple myeloma. This complication can result in severe back pain. During
vertebroplasty, a special bone cement is injected into the broken vertebrae. In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to expand the fractured area before injecting the cement. Both procedures restore some physical function of the spine and reduce pain.
McGirt MJ, Parker SL, Wolinsky JP, Witham TF, Bydon A, Gokaslan ZL. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures: an evidenced-based review of the literature.
Spinal compression fractures. Cedars Sinai website. Available at:
http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Imaging-Center/For-Physicians/Interventional-Neuroradiology/Spinal-Compression-Fractures.aspx. Accessed May 6, 2016.
Treatment option overview.
National Cancer Institute website. Available at:
Accessed May 6, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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