Leukemia Home > Fludara Side Effects

If you are receiving chemotherapy treatment with Fludara and develop a sore throat, fever, or other signs of an infection, notify your healthcare provider right away. Serious problems such as these can occur with this medication, so it is important to know which reactions require immediate medical treatment. Some of the other possible side effects of Fludara include hair loss, nausea, weakness, and fatigue.

An Introduction to Fludara Side Effects

As with any chemotherapy medicine, Fludara® (fludarabine phosphate) can cause side effects. In fact, most people will experience some type of reaction to this drug, and some side effects can be quite significant. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this medicine.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Fludara. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Fludara

Fludara has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given Fludara were carefully documented. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred and how often they appeared.
In clinical studies, the most common Fludara side effects included:
  • Fever -- in up to 69 percent of people
  • Weakness -- up to 65 percent
  • Infections -- up to 44 percent (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
  • Cough -- up to 44 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 38 percent
  • Nausea and vomiting -- up to 36 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 34 percent
  • Shortness of breath -- up to 22 percent
  • Pneumonia -- up to 22 percent
  • Pain -- up to 22 percent
  • Chills -- up to 19 percent
  • Swelling due to fluid retention (edema) -- up to 19 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 3 percent to 16 percent of people, included:
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Problems with vision
  • Rash
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs, such as a bladder infection)
  • Sweating
  • Bleeding in the stomach or intestines
  • Numbness, pricking, or tingling sensations, especially in the hands or feet
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling, sores, or ulcers in the mouth or throat
  • General feelings of discomfort
  • Hearing loss
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sinus infection
  • Painful urination
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Headache
  • Gallstones
  • Constipation
  • Inflammation or irritation of the esophagus, which could cause hoarseness, cough, sore throat, or pain when swallowing
  • Itching
  • Blood in the urine
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Heart failure
  • An abnormal heartbeat
  • Blood clots.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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