Zelboraf Side Effects

Generic Name: vemurafenib

Note: This document contains side effect information about vemurafenib. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Zelboraf.

Some side effects of Zelboraf 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 vemurafenib: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, vemurafenib (the active ingredient contained in Zelboraf) 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking vemurafenib:

More common
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred vision or other change in vision
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • eye pain
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lump or growth on the skin
  • pain in the ankles or knees
  • painful, red lumps under the skin, mostly on the legs
  • paralysis of the nerves
  • rapid weight gain
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • redness, soreness, swelling, or itching skin
  • scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
  • sensitivity of the eye to light
  • severe sunburn
  • skin rash
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • sores, welting, or blisters
  • tearing
  • tingling of the hands and feet
  • ulceration of the skin
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss

Some side effects of vemurafenib 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:

More common
  • Back or bone pain
  • burning, itching, and pain in the hairy areas, or pus at the root of the hair
  • change in taste
  • cough
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased weight
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness
  • dry skin
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • headache
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of taste
  • muscle stiffness
  • nausea
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • rash
  • sunburn
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to vemurafenib: oral tablet


Cardiovascular side effects have included atrial fibrillation (less than 10%) and vasculitis (less than 10%).


Dermatologic side effects have included rash (less than 52%), photosensitivity reactions (less than 49%), alopecia (less than 45%), pruritus (less than 30%), hyperkeratosis (less than 28%), maculopapular rash (less than 21%), dry skin (less than 19%), actinic keratosis (less than 17%), sunburn (less than 14%), erythema (less than 14%) and papular rash (less than 13%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (less than 10%), keratosis pilaris (less than 10%), erythema nodosum (less than 10%), folliculitis (less than 10%), and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (less than 10%).


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (less than 37%), diarrhea (less than 29%), vomiting (less than 26%), and constipation (less than 16%).


General side effects have included fatigue (less than 54%), peripheral edema (less than 23%), pyrexia (less than 19%), and asthenia (less than 11%).


Metabolic side effects have included decreased appetite (less than 21%) and decreased weight (less than 10%).

Laboratory abnormalities have included increased gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) (less than 15%), elevated liver transaminases (AST and ALT) (less than 10%), and elevated bilirubin (less than 10%).


Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia (less than 67%), myalgia (less than 24%), pain in extremity (less than 18%), musculoskeletal pain (less than 11%), back pain (less than 11%), and arthritis (less than 10%).

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (less than 27%), dysgeusia (less than 14%), dizziness (less than 10%), peripheral neuropathy (less than 10%), and 7th nerve paralysis (less than 10%).


Ocular side effects have included retinal vein occlusion (less than 10%), and uveitis (less than 10%).


Oncologic side effects have included cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (less than 24%), and basal cell carcinoma (less than 10%). Postmarketing side effects have included progression of a preexisting chronic myelomonocytic leukemia with NRAS mutation.


Respiratory side effects have included cough (less than 12%).


Postmarketing hypersensitivity reactions have included drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS syndrome).

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. Drugs.com 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.

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