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Metreleptin Side Effects

In Summary

More frequently reported side effects include: proteinuria and urticaria. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to metreleptin: subcutaneous powder for solution, subcutaneous solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by metreleptin. 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 metreleptin:

More common:
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chills or fever
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • shakiness
  • sore throat
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common:
  • Bloating
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • vomiting

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with metreleptin 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:
  • Back pain
  • diarrhea
  • ear drainage
  • earache or pain in the ear
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain in the joints
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to metreleptin: subcutaneous powder for injection


Very common (10% or more): Hypoglycemia (13%), decreased weight (13%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, paresthesia[Ref]


It has been reported that two patients (4%) had symptoms of pancreatitis. Both had a medical history of pancreatitis.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain (10%)
Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, diarrhea, pancreatitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Ovarian cyst


Common (1% to 10%): Anemia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Injection-site erythema, urticaria
Frequency not reported: Generalized rash[Ref]


In vitro neutralizing activity anti-metreleptin antibodies were identified in 2 patients (n=33) with generalized lipodystrophy who showed severe infections and worsening metabolic control (increases in HbA1c and/or triglycerides). Three patients with anti-metreleptin antibodies without lipodystrophy showed excessive weight gain, and/or development of glucose intolerance or diabetes.

In clinical trials, anti-metreleptin antibodies were detected in 36 of 43 generalized lipodystrophy patients, with titers ranging from 1:5 to 1:1,953, 125; however, these numbers may be misleading as detection of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay (the assays utilized in clinical trials lacked sensitivity), handling of the sample, concomitant drugs, and underlying disease. Due to incompleteness of the immunogenicity data, the clinical significance and the magnitude and persistence of the anti-drug responses are not well characterized.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Autoimmune disorder, immunogenicity[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia, back pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia, ear infection, fatigue[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Proteinuria[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection[Ref]


Frequency not reported: T-cell lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma

Three cases of T-cell lymphoma were reported among patients with acquired generalized lipodystrophy; 2 patients diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma during treatment had immunodeficiency and significant hematologic abnormalities including severe bone marrow abnormalities prior to starting treatment. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma was reported in 1 patient receiving this drug who did not have hematologic abnormalities before treatment.


1. "Product Information. Myalept (metreleptin)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

Not all side effects for metreleptin 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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