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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

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by irinotecan liposomal. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking irinotecan liposomal, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

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

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with irinotecan liposomal may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Decreased appetite
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • lack or loss of strength
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
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.

Not all side effects for irinotecan liposomal may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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