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Zanosar Side Effects

Generic Name: streptozocin

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug streptozocin. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Zanosar.

It is possible that some side effects of Zanosar may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to streptozocin: intravenous powder for solution

Along with their needed effects, medicines like streptozocin (the active ingredient contained in Zanosar) can sometimes cause unwanted effects such as kidney problems and other side effects. These and others are described below. Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Streptozocin has been shown to cause tumors (some cancerous) in animals. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

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

Less common
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or shakiness
  • chills, cold sweats, or cool, pale skin
  • drowsiness or unusual tiredness or weakness
  • fast pulse
  • headache
  • pain or redness at place of injection
  • unusual hunger

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

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

If any of the following side effects occur while taking streptozocin, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common
  • Swelling of feet or lower legs
  • unusual decrease in urination

Some streptozocin side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Nausea and vomiting (usually occurs within 2 to 4 hours after receiving dose and may be severe)
Less common
  • Diarrhea

After you stop taking this drug, it is possible that you may still experience side effects that need medical attention. If you notice any of the following side effects check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Decrease in urination
  • swelling of feet or lower legs

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to streptozocin: intravenous powder for injection


Renal toxicity is dose-related and cumulative. Adequate hydration may help reduce the risk of nephrotoxicity to renal tubular epithelium by decreasing renal and urinary concentration of the drug and its metabolites.[Ref]

Renal side effects have included severe and sometimes fatal renal toxicity, azotemia, anuria, hypophosphatemia, glycosuria, and renal tubular acidosis. A case of chronic renal failure has also been reported.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included fatal hematologic toxicity with substantial reductions in leukocyte and platelet counts. In most cases, hematologic toxicity only involves mild decreases in hematocrit values.[Ref]


Severe nausea and vomiting have occasionally required the discontinuation of therapy.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal side effects have included severe nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea has also been reported.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included mild to moderate abnormalities of glucose tolerance. Insulin shock with hypoglycemia has also been reported.[Ref]

Abnormalities of glucose tolerance have generally been reversible.[Ref]


In most cases, local effects have been reported to resolve either the same day or within a few days.[Ref]

Local side effects following extravasation have included erythema, burning, and tenderness.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included hypoalbuminemia and elevated SGOT and LDH levels.[Ref]


One case of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus was reported to have had a spontaneous recovery while the second case responded to indomethacin.[Ref]

Genitourinary side effects have included two cases of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Zanosar (streptozocin)." Pharmacia and Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI.

2. Perry DJ, Weiss RB "Nephrotoxicity of streptozocin." Ann Intern Med 96 (1982): 122

3. Hricik DE, Goldsmith GH "Uric acid nephrolithiasis and acute renal failure secondary to streptozotocin nephrotoxicity." Am J Med 84 (1988): 153-6

4. Hall-Craggs M, Brenner DE, Vigorito RD, Sutherland JC "Acute renal failure and renal tubular squamous metaplasia following treatment with streptozotocin." Hum Pathol 13 (1982): 597-601

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