Gemtuzumab Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to gemtuzumab: parenteral powder for injection
Side effects include:
The most common adverse reactions (greater than 15%) were hemorrhage, infection, fever, nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, increased AST, increased ALT, rash, and mucositis.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to gemtuzumab: intravenous powder for injection
Hematologic side effects have included severe myelosuppression which is the major toxicity associated with gemtuzumab. During the treatment phase, grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia (99% ), neutropenia (98%), anemia (47%), and bleeding (15%) have been reported. Ecchymosis (13%) has also been reported. Treatment emergent adverse events have included epistaxis (3%), cerebral hemorrhage (2%), disseminated intravascular coagulation (2%), intracranial hemorrhage (2%), and hematuria (1%).[Ref]
General side effects have included fever (85%), chills (73%), asthenia (44%), abdominal pain (37%), headache (35%), sepsis (25%), neutropenic fever (21%), pain (21%), back pain (9%), and enlarged abdomen (9%).[Ref]
Other side effects have included acute infusion related chills (62%), fever (61%), nausea (38%), vomiting (32%), headache (12%), hypotension (11%), hypertension (6%), hypoxia (6%), dyspnea (4%), and hyperglycemia (2%).[Ref]
Acute infusion related events generally occur after the end of the two hour infusion and resolve after two to four hours with supportive therapy of acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, and intravenous fluids.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (70%), vomiting (63%), diarrhea (38%), stomatitis (32%), anorexia (29%), constipation (25%), dyspepsia (11%) and gastrointestinal hemorrhage.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects have included dyspnea (32%), epistaxis (31%), increased cough (20%), pharyngitis (14%), pulmonary physical findings (including rales and changes in breath sounds) (11%), pneumonia (10%), and rhinitis (10%). Severe respiratory events leading to death, including dyspnea, pulmonary hemorrhage, pulmonary infiltrates, pleural effusions, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, pulmonary insufficiency, hypoxia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome have been reported infrequently.[Ref]
Hepatic side effects have included grade 3 or 4 hyperbilirubinemia (23%), AST abnormalities (17%), ALT abnormalities (9%), concurrent elevations of transaminases (grade 3 to 4) and bilirubin, sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, and hepatic veno-occlusive disease (including fatalities).[Ref]
Hepatic effects are transient and generally reversible.
Sinusoidal obstruction syndrome was characterized by portal hypertension, jaundice, and elevated serum AST levels.[Ref]
Genitourinary side effects have included vaginal hemorrhage (12%) and hematuria (10%).[Ref]
Immunologic side effects have been reported. During the treatment phase, Grade 3 or 4 infections (28%) including opportunistic infections have been reported. Grade 3 or 4 infection related treatment emergent adverse events included sepsis (16%) and pneumonia (7%). Herpes simplex infection (22%) has also been reported.[Ref]
Renal side effects including renal failure secondary to tumor lysis syndrome have been reported.[Ref]
Cardiovascular side effects have included hypertension (20%), hypotension (20%), tachycardia (11%), and hemorrhage (10%).[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects have included local reaction (25%), herpes simplex (22%), rash (22%), petechiae (20%), and peripheral edema (16%).[Ref]
Nervous system side effects have included dizziness (15%), insomnia (15%), and depression (9%).[Ref]
Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia (8%).[Ref]
Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia (31%), increased lactic dehydrogenase (13%), and hypomagnesemia (10%).[Ref]
Hypersensitivity side effects including anaphylaxis have been reported.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Mylotarg (gemtuzumab)" Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.
2. Tack DK, Letendre L, Kamath PS, Tefferi A "Development of hepatic veno-occlusive disease after Mylotarg infusion for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia." Bone Marrow Transplant 28 (2001): 895-7
Some side effects of gemtuzumab may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
More about gemtuzumab
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Drug class: CD33 monoclonal antibodies
Other brands: Mylotarg
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