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Leukine Side Effects

Generic Name: sargramostim

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of sargramostim. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Leukine.

In Summary

Common side effects of Leukine include: ostealgia and hemophthalmos. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to sargramostim: intravenous powder for solution, intravenous solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by sargramostim (the active ingredient contained in Leukine). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking sargramostim:

More common:
  • Abdominal pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in eye
  • bloody nose
  • bloody stools
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • bone pain
  • chest pain
  • cloudy urine
  • congestion
  • cough
  • decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • dryness or soreness of throat
  • eye pain
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • hoarseness
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • irregular heartbeat
  • large amount of cholesterol in the blood
  • loss of appetite
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle spasms [tetany] or twitching seizures
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rapid weight gain
  • redness in whites of eyes
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • tender, swollen glands in neck
  • tightness in chest
  • tingling of hands or feet
  • trouble in swallowing
  • troubled breathing
  • trembling
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • voice changes
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking sargramostim, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • rash

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with sargramostim 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:
  • Chills
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in moving
  • fear or nervousness
  • itching skin
  • lack or loss of strength
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain in joints
  • sleeplessness
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to sargramostim: injectable powder for injection, injectable solution


The type and frequency of adverse events following induction in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) were similar between those treated with this drug and those taking placebo.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fever (up to 95%), mucous membrane disorder (75%), asthenia (up to 66%), malaise (57%), edema (up to 34%), chills (up to 25%), pain (17%), chest pain (15%), peripheral edema (up to 15%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 90%), diarrhea (up to 89%), vomiting (up to 85%), stomatitis (up to 62%), abdominal pain (38%), gastrointestinal disorder (37%), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (up to 27%), dyspepsia (17%), hematemesis (13%), dysphagia (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, abdominal distention[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Alopecia (up to 73%), rash (up to 70%), pruritus (23%)
Common (1% to 10%): Petechia, sweats[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Infection (65%), allergy (12%), sepsis (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Neutralizing antibodies
Frequency not reported: Allergic reaction, anaphylactoid reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (up to 54%), glucose high (41%), weight loss (37%), hyperglycemia (25%), cholesterol high (17%), hypomagnesemia (15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Calcium low, weight gain[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 36%), central nervous system disorder (11%), paresthesia (11%)
Frequency not reported: Dizziness
Postmarketing reports: Fainting[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypertension (34%), hemorrhage (up to 29%), pericardial effusion (25%), hypotension (13%), tachycardia (11%)
Postmarketing reports: Arrhythmia, thrombosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Bilirubinemia (30%), liver damage (13%), ALT increased (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Alkaline phosphatase increased
Postmarketing reports: Transient liver function abnormalities[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (28%), pharyngitis (23%), lung disorder (20%), epistaxis (17%), dyspnea (15%), rhinitis (11%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Albumin low (27%), blood dyscrasia (25%), thrombocytopenia (19%), leukopenia (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Agranulocytosis
Frequency not reported: Anemia, serum proteins low, prothrombin time prolonged, progressive increase in circulating monocytes and promonocytes and blasts in the marrow
Postmarketing reports: Eosinophilia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): BUN high (23%), creatinine increased (15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Kidney function abnormal[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Bone pain (21%), arthralgia (up to 21%), myalgia (18%)
Common (1% to 10%): Back pain
Postmarketing reports: Joint pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract disorder (14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hematuria[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (11%), anxiety (11%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Eye hemorrhage (11%)[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Injection site reactions[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Leukine (sargramostim)." Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA.

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

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.