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Irinotecan liposomal Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of irinotecan liposomal include: fever. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to irinotecan liposomal: intravenous solution

Along with its needed effects, irinotecan 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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking irinotecan liposomal:

More common
  • Confusion
  • decreased urination
  • diarrhea (severe)
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fever
  • lightheadedness
  • rapid breathing
  • sunken eyes
  • thirst
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wrinkled skin
Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chills
  • confusion
  • cough
  • fast heartbeat
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • rapid, shallow breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • sore throat
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
Incidence not known
  • Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • nausea
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
  • tightness in the chest

Some side effects of irinotecan 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:

More common Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • feeling of warmth
  • increased sweating
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • tearing of the eyes
  • watering of the mouth
  • weakness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to irinotecan liposomal: intravenous dispersion


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (59%), vomiting (52%), nausea (51%), stomatitis (32%)
Common (1% to 10%): Gastroenteritis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Alopecia (14%)[Ref]


The most common (2% or more) serious adverse reactions were diarrhea, vomiting, neutropenic fever or neutropenic sepsis, nausea, pyrexia, sepsis, dehydration, septic shock, pneumonia, acute renal failure, and thrombocytopenia.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anemia (97%), lymphopenia (81%), neutropenia (52%), thrombocytopenia (41%)
Common (1% to 10%): Neutropenic fever/neutropenic sepsis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased ALT (51%), hypoalbuminemia (43%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Infusion reaction (rash, urticaria, periorbital edema, pruritus)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (44%), hypomagnesemia (35%), hypocalcemia (32%), hypokalemia (32%), hypophosphatemia (29%), hyponatremia (27%), weight loss (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dehydration[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Cholinergic reactions[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue/asthenia (56%), pyrexia (23%)
Common (1% to 10%): IV catheter-related infection, sepsis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased creatinine (18%)[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Onivyde (irinotecan liposomal)." Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA.

Some side effects of irinotecan 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.