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Defibrotide Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 9, 2022.

For the Consumer

Applies to defibrotide: intravenous solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, defibrotide 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 defibrotide:

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bloody nose
  • bloody stools
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • lightheadedness
  • rapid, shallow breathing
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Less common

  • Chest pain
  • cough or hoarseness
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing

Less common or rare

  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

Incidence not known

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of defibrotide 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 defibrotide: intravenous solution


The most common adverse reactions were hypotension, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and epistaxis. The most common adverse reactions considered to be life-threatening or fatal were hypotension (7%) and pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage (7%). Hemorrhage events of any type and any grade were reported for 104 (59%) of the patients, and the events were considered life-threatening or fatal in 35 (20%).[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypotension (37%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (24%), vomiting (18%), nausea (16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hematemesis, melena, mouth hemorrhage[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Epistaxis (14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage, lung infiltration, pneumonia, pulmonary hemorrhage

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hemothorax[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Sepsis, graft versus host disease, infection

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity, anaphylactic reaction[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Hemorrhage intracranial, cerebral hemorrhage

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cerebral hematoma[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Coagulopathy, hemorrhage[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Catheter site hemorrhage

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site hemorrhage[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hyperuricemia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hematuria[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ecchymosis, petechiae, rash, pruritus[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Conjunctival hemorrhage[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pyrexia[Ref]


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

2. "Product Information. Defitelio (defibrotide)." Jazz Pharmaceuticals (2016):

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.