tha·​lid·​o·​mide | \ thə-ˈli-də-ˌmīd How to pronounce thalidomide (audio) , -məd\

Definition of thalidomide

: a drug C13H10N2O4 that was formerly used as a sedative and is now used as an immunomodulatory agent especially in the treatment of leprosy and multiple myeloma and that is known to cause malformations of infants born to mothers using it during pregnancy

Examples of thalidomide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The new cases in Germany are also reminiscent of the thalidomide scandal of the 1960s, when a drug created by the German pharmaceutical company Chemie Grünenthal to alleviate morning sickness caused thousands of women to suffer stillbirths. Matthew Robinson, CNN, "Babies born with deformed hands spark investigation in Germany," 16 Sep. 2019 Celgene’s biggest blockbusters have been Thalomid and Revlimid, which treat the rare blood cancer multiple myeloma and are based on the compound thalidomide. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Menendez Method," 9 Oct. 2018 Even a single dose of thalidomide, the active ingredient in Thalomid, can cause irreversible, debilitating birth defects if not properly handled and dispensed. Sydney Lupkin — Kaiser Health News, STAT, "Drug makers blamed for blocking generics have jacked up prices and cost U.S. billions," 23 May 2018 An example of this is thalidomide, a sedative prescribed in the 1960s for morning sickness; later, it was found to cause birth defects. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Study links acetaminophen in pregnancy to ADHD, but experts question results," 30 Oct. 2017 As mothers in other countries would learn, the drug—better known by its generic name, thalidomide—could cause horrible birth defects. Jonathan Kay, The Atlantic, "How Do You Regulate a Self-Improving Algorithm?," 25 Oct. 2017 For example, thalidomide was a medication that seemed to have low levels of risk to adults during testing and was used for morning sickness. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "Don’t Buy Into Toxic 'Toxin-Free' Marketing," 13 Oct. 2017 But the time, thalidomide’s darker effects were just becoming known. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Woman Who Stood Between America and an Epidemic of Birth Defects," 8 May 2017 The settlement is the most recent chapter in the story of thalidomide, the notorious drug that was developed by a German company and marketed around the world in the 1950s as a sedative and anti-nausea treatment. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "Celgene to Pay $280 Million to Settle Fraud Suit Over Cancer Drugs," 25 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thalidomide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of thalidomide

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thalidomide

phthalic acid + -id- (from imide) + -o- + imide

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Time Traveler for thalidomide

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The first known use of thalidomide was in 1958

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2019

Cite this Entry

“Thalidomide.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for thalidomide


tha·​lid·​o·​mide | \ thə-ˈlid-ə-ˌmīd How to pronounce thalidomide (audio) , -məd How to pronounce thalidomide (audio) \

Medical Definition of thalidomide

: a sedative, hypnotic, and antiemetic drug C13H10N2O4 that was formerly used chiefly in Europe during the late 1950s and early 1960s especially to treat morning sickness but was soon withdrawn after being shown to cause serious malformations (as missing or severely shortened arms and legs) in infants born to mothers using it during the first trimester of pregnancy and that is now used as an immunomodulatory agent chiefly in the treatment of cutaneous complications of leprosy and in combination with dexamethasone in the treatment of multiple myeloma

More from Merriam-Webster on thalidomide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thalidomide Encyclopedia article about thalidomide

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