Deferiprone Side Effects

Not all side effects for deferiprone 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 deferiprone: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by deferiprone. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking deferiprone:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • chills
  • cough
  • fever
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Fever with or without chills
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • hoarseness
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • anxiety
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • dark urine
  • decreased urination
  • dilated neck veins
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • extreme fatigue
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • headache
  • hives
  • increase in heart rate
  • increased sweating
  • irregular breathing
  • irritation
  • itching
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle tremors
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • painful knees and ankles
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • raised red swellings on the skin, the buttocks, legs, or ankles
  • rapid weight gain
  • rapid, deep breathing
  • rapid, shallow breathing
  • rash
  • redness of the skin
  • restlessness
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • slow heartbeat
  • sneezing
  • spots on your skin resembling a blister or pimple
  • stomach cramps
  • sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • sugar in the urine
  • sunken eyes
  • sweating
  • swelling around the eyes
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • thirst
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trouble with balance
  • troubled breathing or swallowing
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vision changes
  • vomiting of blood
  • weight gain
  • wrinkled skin
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some of the side effects that can occur with deferiprone 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
  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • difficulty with moving
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • reddish or brow discoloration of the urine
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • back pain
  • belching
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • increased or decreased appetite
  • indigestion
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • stomach upset
Incidence not known
  • Bloody nose
  • clenching, gnashing, or grinding teeth
  • constipation
  • coughing or spitting up blood
  • depression
  • difficulty opening the mouth
  • difficulty with speaking
  • drooling
  • hives or welts
  • impaired psychomotor skills
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • lockjaw
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of balance control
  • muscle spasm, especially of the neck and back
  • muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • restlessness
  • severe sunburn
  • shuffling walk
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • stiffness of the limbs
  • stomach bloating, burning, cramping, or pain
  • twisting movements of the body
  • uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to deferiprone: oral tablet


Cardiovascular side effects have included postmarketing reports of atrial fibrillation, cardiac failure, hypotension and hypertension.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included postmarketing reports of hyperhidrosis, periorbital edema, photosensitivity reaction, pruritus, urticarial, rash and Henoch-Schonlein purpura.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (12.6%), abdominal pain/discomfort (10.4%), vomiting (9.8%), diarrhea (3%), dyspepsia (2%) and postmarketing reports of enterocolitis, rectal hemorrhage, gastric ulcer, pancreatitis, and parotid gland enlargement.[Ref]


General side effects have included postmarketing reports of chills, pyrexia, edema peripheral, and multi-organ failure.


Genitourinary side effects have included chromaturia (14.6%).[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included neutropenia (6.2%), agranulocytosis (1.7%), and postmarketing reports of thrombocytosis, and pancytopenia.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included postmarketing reports of jaundice, and hepatomegaly.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions have included postmarketing reports of anaphylactic shock, and hypersensitivity.


Immunologic side effects have included postmarketing reports of cryptococcal cutaneous infection, enteroviral encephalitis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, sepsis, furuncle, infectious hepatitis, rash pustular, and subcutaneous abscess.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included weight increased (1.9%) and postmarketing reports of metabolic acidosis, and dehydration.

Laboratory abnormalities have included alanine aminotransferase (ALT) increased (7.5%), neutrophil count decreased (7.3%), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) increased (1.2%) and postmarketing reports of blood bilirubin increased, and blood creatinine phosphokinase increased.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia (9.8%), back pain (2.0%), pain in extremity (1.9%), arthropathy (1.4%) and postmarketing reports of myositis, chondropathy, and trismus.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (2.5%) and postmarketing reports of cerebellar syndrome, cerebral hemorrhage, convulsion, gait disturbance, intracranial pressure increased, psychomotor skills impaired, pyramidal tract syndrome, and somnolence.[Ref]


Ocular side effects have included postmarketing reports of diplopia, papilledema, and retinal toxicity.[Ref]


Other side effects have included postmarketing reports of hypospadias.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included postmarketing reports of bruxism, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder.[Ref]


Renal side effects have included postmarketing reports of glycosuria and hemoglobinuria.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included postmarketing reports of acute respiratory distress syndrome, epistaxis, hemoptysis, and pulmonary embolism.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Ferriprox (deferiprone)." ApoPharma USA Inc, Rockville, MD.

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.