Leukemia Home > Nipent Side Effects
Some people who receive Nipent may develop potentially serious reactions, such as infections, anemia, or allergic reactions. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience problems such as these, or if you experience anything that just doesn't seem right. Clinical studies have shown that most people who receive this drug will develop some type of side effect, such as nausea, vomiting, or fatigue.
As with any chemotherapy medicine, Nipent® (pentostatin) 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 Nipent. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Nipent has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given Nipent were carefully documented and compared with reactions that occurred in a similar group of people given another chemotherapy medicine. 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 clinical studies, the most common Nipent side effects included:
- Nausea and/or vomiting -- in up to 63 percent of people
- Low white blood cell counts, which could increase the risk for infections (see Chemotherapy and Infections) -- up to 60 percent
- Fever -- up to 46 percent
- Rash -- up to 43 percent
- Fatigue -- up to 42 percent
- Infections -- up to 36 percent
- Anemia (low red blood cells) -- up to 35 percent (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- A decrease in platelets, which could increase the risk for bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy) -- up to 32 percent
- Itching -- up to 21 percent
- Coughing -- up to 20 percent
- Pain -- up to 20 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 1 percent to 19 percent of people, included:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Decreased appetite
- Upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold
- Lack of strength or energy
- Sores and inflammation of the mouth and throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Increased sweating
- Joint pain
- Skin problems, such as a rash, dry skin, acne, or skin discoloration
- Increased liver enzymes, which could be a sign of liver problems
- Nervous system problems, which may include but are not limited to:
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling of the hands or feet
- Problems with memory.