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Dactinomycin Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 23, 2023.

Applies to dactinomycin: intravenous powder for solution.

Serious side effects of Dactinomycin

Along with its needed effects, dactinomycin 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 dactinomycin:

More common

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Dactinomycin

Some side effects of dactinomycin 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dactinomycin: intravenous powder for injection.


Frequency not reported: Proctitis, cheilitis, dysphagia, esophagitis, ulcerative stomatitis, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, GI ulceration, nausea, vomiting[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Liver function test abnormalities, ascites, hepatomegaly, hepatitis, hepatic failure, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anemia, aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia, reticulocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Alopecia, skin eruptions, acne, erythema multiforme, flare-up of erythema, increased pigmentation of previously irradiated skin

Postmarketing reports: Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS)[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Contracture of the arms

Frequency not reported: Extravasation, severe damage to soft tissue, epidermolysis, erythema, edema[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypocalcemia, anorexia, hypocalcemia, tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myalgia, growth retardation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Thrombophlebitis, hemorrhage[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Secondary malignancy (e.g., leukemia)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Sepsis (e.g., neutropenic sepsis), infection[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Optic neuropathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Pharyngitis, pneumonitis

Postmarketing reports: Pneumothorax[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Malaise, fatigue, lethargy, fever, radiation toxicity, radiation recall[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Peripheral neuropathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Renal toxicity

Postmarketing reports: Renal failure[Ref]


1. Product Information. Cosmegen (dactinomycin). Merck & Co., Inc. 2001;PROD.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.