Leukemia Home > Elitek Side Effects
Some people may experience side effects during Elitek treatment. Research has shown that nausea, vomiting, and abdominal (stomach) pain are some of the most commonly reported problems with this prescription medicine. Because serious problems, such as coughing up blood, chest pain, and confusion, can also occur, make sure to seek medical attention if you develop anything that does not seem right while using Elitek.
Just like any medicine, Elitek® (rasburicase) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will experience problems. In fact, many people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Elitek. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Elitek has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given Elitek were carefully documented and compared to the side effects that occurred in a similar group of people given another medicine called allopurinol (Zyloprim®). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other medicine.
In these studies, the most common Elitek side effects included:
- Nausea -- in up to 60.9 percent of people
- Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet -- up to 50 percent
- Vomiting -- up to 50 percent
- Fever -- up to 46 percent
- Abdominal (stomach) pain -- up to 33.7 percent
- An increase in a certain liver enzyme -- up to 27.2 percent
- Headache -- up to 26 percent
- Anxiety -- up to 23.9 percent
- Low levels of phosphate in the blood (hypophosphatemia) -- up to 22.8 percent
- A sore throat -- up to 20.7 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 15.2 percent to 20 percent of people, included:
- High levels of bilirubin in the blood, which could cause yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Swelling, sores, or ulcers in the mouth or throat
- An infection in the blood (sepsis)
- Too much fluid in the body
- Increase of phosphate levels in the blood (hyperphosphatemia).