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Emflaza Side Effects

Generic name: deflazacort

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Oct 1, 2022.

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


Common side effects of Emflaza include: cushingoid appearance, weight gain, constipation, and increased appetite. Other side effects include: abnormal behavior, back pain, and fever. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

Applies to deflazacort: oral suspension, oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Emflaza

Along with its needed effects, deflazacort (the active ingredient contained in Emflaza) 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 deflazacort:

More common

  • Backache
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • difficulty with breathing
  • ear congestion
  • facial hair growth in females
  • fever
  • fractures
  • full or round face, neck, or trunk
  • headache
  • increased hair growth, especially on the face
  • increased thirst or urination
  • irritability
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • loss of voice
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle aches or wasting
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight gain

Less common

  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with moving
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pains or stiffness
  • nausea
  • shivering
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • trouble sleeping
  • vomiting


  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives, itching, or rash
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

Incidence not known

  • Blindness
  • blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
  • changes in behavior
  • decreased vision
  • depression
  • dry mouth
  • eye pain
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • indigestion
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
  • pain in the bones
  • pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
  • pounding in the ears
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • severe abdominal pain, cramping, or burning
  • severe, sudden headache
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • slurred speech
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • stomach pain
  • sudden loss of coordination
  • sudden, severe weakness or numbness in the arm or leg
  • tearing
  • thoughts of killing oneself
  • unexplained weight loss
  • vision changes
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds, severe and continuing

Other side effects of Emflaza

Some side effects of deflazacort 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

  • Flushing or redness of the skin
  • increase appetite
  • stomach discomfort
  • unusually warm skin

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to deflazacort: oral suspension, oral tablet.


The most frequently reported adverse reactions have included Cushingoid appearance, hirsutism, weight gain, central obesity, increased appetite, pollakiuria, irritability, abnormal behavior, and pyrexia.[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Erythema, rash, contusion. skin striae, acne, impetigo, alopecia, dermatitis acneiform

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Bruising

Frequency not reported: Skin atrophy, telangiectasia

Postmarketing reports: Toxic epidermal necrolysis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal discomfort, abdominal pain/abdominal pain upper, nausea, dyspepsia, gastrointestinal disorder, tooth abscess

Postmarketing reports: Acute pancreatitis, hemorrhage, peptic ulceration, perforation of peptic ulcer[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cushingoid appearance (up to 33%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hirsutism

Frequency not reported: Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, amenorrhea, menstrual irregularity, steroid withdrawal syndrome, acute adrenal insufficiency[Ref]

Corticosteroids produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. Acute adrenal insufficiency can occur if corticosteroids are withdrawn abruptly. The risk of serious consequences of HPA axis suppression can be reduced by gradual dose reduction, however, in stress situations, reinstitution of steroid therapy may be necessary. Additionally, a steroid "withdrawal syndrome" which is seemingly unrelated to adrenocortical insufficiency may occur following abrupt discontinuance of steroids. The steroid withdrawal syndrome includes symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, headache, fever, joint pain, desquamation, myalgia, and/or weight loss.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, fibula fracture, greenstick fracture, muscle spasms, myalgia, neck mass, neck pain, extremity pain

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Muscle wasting

Frequency not reported: Muscle weakness, tendon disorder, osteopenia, growth suppression in pediatric patients, osteoporosis

Postmarketing reports: Avascular osteonecrosis, muscle wasting, negative nitrogen balance, tendonitis and tendon rupture (with concomitant quinolone administration) vertebral and long bone fractures[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Irritability, abnormal behavior, affect lability, aggression, depression, emotional disorder, middle insomnia, mood altered, mood swings, sleep disorder

Postmarketing reports: Anxiety, amnesia, delusions, hallucinations, mania, suicidal thoughts[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Psychomotor hyperactivity, dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Headache

Postmarketing reports: Aggravation of epilepsy, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema in children (pseudotumor cerebri; usually after treatment withdrawal), cognitive dysfunction, benign intracranial hypertension, aggravation of epilepsy[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Irregular heart rate, hot flush

Frequency not reported: Sodium and water retention with hypertension

Postmarketing reports: Heart failure, edema, thromboembolism (particularly in patients with underlying conditions associated with increased thrombotic tendency[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Lacrimation increased, hordeolum

Frequency not reported: Increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, papilledema, posterior subcapsular cataracts, exacerbation of ophthalmic viral or fungal diseases

Postmarketing reports: Chorioretinopathy, corneal or scleral thinning[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, glycosuria, chromaturia, dysuria, hypertonic bladder, testicular pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Influenza, viral infection

Frequency not reported: Candidiasis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (12%), cough (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis, rhinorrhea, epistaxis, pharyngitis, hypoventilation

Frequency not reported: Recurrence of dormant tuberculosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pollakiuria (12%)


Very common (10% or more): Increased weight (20%), increased appetite (14%),

Common (1% to 10%): Central obesity, constipation, thirst

Postmarketing reports: Negative protein and calcium balance, potassium loss and hypokalemic alkalosis (with concomitant beta 2-agonist and xanthines)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia, otitis externa, heat exhaustion

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vertigo

Postmarketing reports: Impaired healing[Ref]



Frequency not reported: Kaposi's Sarcoma, pheochromocytoma crisis[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Leukocytosis[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


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

2. "Product Information. Emflaza (deflazacort)." Marathon Pharmaceuticals (2017):

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.