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Why does Ofev cause diarrhea?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 11, 2022.

Official answer


Experts are not sure exactly why Ofev causes diarrhea but research has suggested that it may be due to receptor inhibition (Ofev is a triple receptor [PDGFR, VEGFR, or FGFR] tyrosine kinase inhibitor) or via a direct inflammatory action on intestinal mucosa by Ofev or its breakdown products.

The BRAT diet (bananas, rice [white], applesauce, and toast) has been shown to help the symptoms of diarrhea. Foods that are likely to exacerbate diarrhea should be avoided, including:

  • Alcohol or caffeine
  • Brassicas, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, or Bok choy
  • Fried or greasy foods, such as French fries, burgers, and fried chicken
  • High-fiber foods, such as beans, lentils, nuts, or whole grains
  • Milk or milk products
  • Spicy foods, such as chili
  • Sugar-free candy made with alcohols such as xylitol.

Diarrhea is a common side effect of Ofev reported in up to 76% of trial participants. It is usually mild to moderate in intensity and most likely to occur in the first 3 months of treatment. People who develop diarrhea with Ofev should also keep adequately hydrated and consider dose reduction or treatment interruption if diarrhea continues. Trials report that diarrhea caused by Ofev resulted in a permanent dose reduction in up to 22% of patients with approximately 7% choosing to discontinue Ofev.


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