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Cytarabine liposomal Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of cytarabine liposomal include: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, asthenia, drowsiness, and pain. Other side effects include: thrombocytopenia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to cytarabine liposomal: intrathecal suspension

Along with its needed effects, cytarabine liposomal 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking cytarabine liposomal:

More common Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • chills
  • cough or hoarseness
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • sore throat
  • swelling of fingers, hands, arms, lower legs, or feet
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Fast or irregular breathing
  • puffiness or swelling around the face
  • shortness of breath
  • sudden, severe decrease in blood pressure
  • unusual tiredness

Some side effects of cytarabine liposomal 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to cytarabine liposomal: intrathecal suspension


Very common (10% or more): Vision blurred (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Visual disturbances (including blindness)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Weakness (40%), pyrexia (32%), fatigue (25%), Lethargy (16%), pain (14%), peripheral edema (27%)
Common (1% to 10%): Fall, edema, hypacusis, deafness[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (56%), arachnoiditis (42%), abnormal gait (23%), convulsions (20%), dizziness (18%), memory impairment (14%),
hypoesthesia (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Tremor, peripheral neuropathy, neuropathy, peripheral sensory neuropathy, reflexes abnormal, myelopathy, hemiplegia, numbness, paresthesia, cranial nerve palsies
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Meningism
Frequency not reported: Neurotoxicity, transient elevations in CSF protein and CSF white blood cells[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Syncope, hypotension, hypertension, tachycardia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anemia (12%), thrombocytopenia (11%), neutropenia (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Decreased platelet count[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Back pain (24%), pain in limb (15%), neck pain (14%), neck stiffness (11%), muscle weakness (10%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dehydration (13%), decreased appetite (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, anorexia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Confusion (33%), insomnia (14%), agitation (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection (14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Incontinence, urinary retention[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (25%), cough (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (46%), vomiting (44%), constipation (25%), diarrhea (12%)
Common (1% to 10%): Mucosal inflammation, abdominal pain, dysphagia, hemorrhoids, impaired bowel control[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Contusion, pruritus, increased sweating[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. "Product Information. DepoCyt (cytarabine liposomal)." Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Gaithersburg, MD.

Some side effects of cytarabine liposomal may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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.