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Adcetris Side Effects

Generic Name: brentuximab

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of brentuximab. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Adcetris.

Not all side effects for Adcetris may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to brentuximab: intravenous powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by brentuximab (the active ingredient contained in Adcetris). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking brentuximab, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  • chills
  • cough
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty with breathing
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Less common
  • Anxiety
  • back pain
  • bladder pain
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • cloudy urine
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • itching
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • muscle pain
  • rapid weight gain
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • severe pain in the chest
  • stomach pain
  • sudden onset of severe breathing difficulty
  • sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • thickening of bronchial secretions
  • unusual weight gain or loss

Some of the side effects that can occur with brentuximab may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Decreased appetite or weight
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with moving
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • muscle spasms
  • muscle stiffness
  • nausea
  • night sweats
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • rash
  • trouble with sleeping
  • vomiting
Less common
  • Dry skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to brentuximab: intravenous powder for injection


Dermatologic side effects have included rash (less than 31%), pruritus (less than 19%, alopecia (less than 14%), night sweats (less than 12%), and dry skin (less than 10%).[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (less than 42%), diarrhea (less than 36%), abdominal pain (less than 25%), vomiting (less than 22%) and constipation (less than 19%).[Ref]


General side effects have included fatigue (less than 49%), pyrexia (less than 38%), pain (less than 28%), peripheral edema (less than 16%), and chills (less than 13%).[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included neutropenia (less than 55%), anemia (less than 52%), thrombocytopenia (less than 28%), and lymphadenopathy (less than 11%).[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions have included anaphylaxis (less than 2%).[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included decreased appetite (less than 16%) and decreased weight (less than 12%).[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia (less than 19%), myalgia (less than 17%), back pain (less than 14%), pain in extremity (less than 10%), and muscle spasms (less than 10%).[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included peripheral sensory neuropathy (less than 53%), headache (less than 19%), peripheral motor neuropathy (less than 16%), and dizziness (less than 16%).[Ref]


Other side effects have included infusion related reactions (12%) including chills, nausea, dyspnea, pruritus, pyrexia and cough.


Psychiatric side effects have included insomnia (less than 16%) and anxiety (less than 11%).[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included upper respiratory tract infection (less than 47%), cough (less than 25%), dyspnea (less than 19%), and oropharyngeal pain (less than 11%).[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin)." Seattle Genetics Inc, Bothell, WA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.