Ethyol Side Effects
Generic name: amifostine
Note: This document contains side effect information about amifostine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ethyol.
Some side effects of Ethyol may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to amifostine: intravenous powder for solution
Along with its needed effects, amifostine (the active ingredient contained in Ethyol) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking amifostine:More common
- Blurred vision
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- fainting or loss of consciousness
- fast or irregular breathing
- nausea and vomiting
- red, scaly, swollen, or peeling areas of the skin
- skin rash
- swelling of the eyes or eyelids
- tightness in the chest
- trouble with breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Abdominal cramps
- blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- burning or tingling sensation
- cracks in the skin
- difficulty in breathing
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- joint or muscle pain
- loss of bladder control
- loss of heat from the body
- muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
- muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
- no blood pressure or pulse
- numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
- red irritated eyes
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
- stopping of the heart
- sudden loss of consciousness
- Difficulty in swallowing
- hives or welts
- slow or irregular breathing
Some side effects of amifostine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Less common or rare
- Feeling unusually warm or cold
- flushing or redness of the face or neck
- pounding in the ears
- sleepiness (severe)
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to amifostine: intravenous powder for injection
Cardiovascular side effects include a transient reduction in blood pressure in 62% of patients. Arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation/flutter and supraventricular tachycardia have been reported. (These have sometimes been associated with hypotension or allergic reactions.) Transient hypertension and exacerbations of preexisting hypertension, and short term, reversible loss of consciousness have been reported rarely.
The mean time of onset until reduction in blood pressure was 14 minutes into the 15 minute amifostine infusion. The mean duration was six minutes. Blood pressure generally returned to normal within five to fifteen minutes.
In order to avoid hypotension, amifostine has sometimes been administered by the subcutaneous route.
Gastrointestinal side effects frequently include nausea and/or vomiting which may be severe.
These effects have not generally precluded the completion of therapy.
Other side effects include flushing/feeling of warmth, fever, malaise, chills/feeling of coldness, dizziness, somnolence, hiccups, syncope, and sneezing.
In case of an acute allergic reaction, amifostine (the active ingredient contained in Ethyol) should be immediately and permanently discontinued. Epinephrine and other measures should be available for the treatment of serious allergic events such as anaphylaxis.
Hypersensitivity side effects have included hypotension, fever, chills/rigors, dyspnea, skin rashes, and urticaria. Anaphylactoid reactions including hypoxia, laryngeal edema, and chest tightness have also been reported. Anaphylactoid reactions associated with cardiac arrest have been reported rarely. A case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome has also been reported.
Cutaneous eruptions have been commonly reported during clinical trials and were generally not serious.
Dermatologic side effects include skin rashes, pruritus, urticaria, erythema multiforme, and rarely Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Nervous system side effects rarely include seizures.
Musculoskeletal side effects including a case of amifostine-induced back pain have been reported.
Metabolic side effects including hypocalcemia (up to 1%) have been reported.
More Ethyol resources
- Ethyol Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Ethyol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ethyol Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Ethyol Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Ethyol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Amifostine Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Amifostine Prescribing Information (FDA)
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