Miltefosine Side Effects
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 21, 2022.
Commonly reported side effects of miltefosine include: nausea, diarrhea, increased serum creatinine, and vomiting. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
Applies to miltefosine: oral capsule
Oral route (Capsule)
Embryo-Fetal ToxicityMiltefosine is contraindicated in pregnancy. Based on animal data, miltefosine may cause fetal harm. Verify pregnancy status prior to initiating miltefosine. To prevent pregnancy, females of reproductive potential should use effective contraception during treatment and for 5 months after the last dose.
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, miltefosine 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking miltefosine:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- bloody, black, or tarry stools
- chills or fever
- itching or rash
- pain in the scrotum
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- smaller amount of semen ejaculated than usual
- severe diarrhea or vomiting
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- yellow eyes or skin
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of miltefosine 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:
- Decreased appetite
- lack or loss of strength
- General feeling of discomfort or illness
- itching skin
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to miltefosine: oral capsule
Serious side effects and side effects resulting in discontinuation were Stevens-Johnson syndrome, melena, thrombocytopenia, arthritis, skin rash, diarrhea (grade 4), and hyperbilirubinemia (grade 4).[Ref]
This drug was associated with reductions in all sperm parameters at the end of therapy; all sperm parameter reductions (except sperm concentration) recovered on follow-up assessments at 3 and 6 months after therapy completion. For sperm concentration, small mean decreases persisted on follow-up assessments at 3 and 6 months after the last dose. Semen analyses were not conducted beyond 6 months in any patient.
At end of therapy, decreased semen volume (less than 1.5 mL: 75%), reduced sperm count (at least 50% reduction from baseline: 54%; less than 39 million: 33%), reduced sperm concentration (at least 50% reduction from baseline: 21%; less than 20 million sperm/mL: 12%), reduced sperm motility (at least 25% reduction from baseline: 51%; less than 40% with total motility: 33%), and reduced sperm morphology (at least 25% reduction from baseline: 31%) were reported. During the follow-up period at the last observation (either 3 or 6 months after therapy completion), decreased semen volume (less than 1.5 mL: 15%), reduced sperm count (at least 50% reduction from baseline: 19%; less than 39 million: 6%), reduced sperm concentration (at least 50% reduction from baseline: 26%; less than 20 million sperm/mL: 8%), reduced sperm motility (at least 25% reduction from baseline: 9%; less than 40% with total motility: 6%), and reduced sperm morphology (at least 25% reduction from baseline: 15%) were reported.
Among 33 young male patients treated with this drug at a single center, 21 reported decreased ejaculate volume, 2 reported temporary absent ejaculation, 4 reported scrotal tenderness, and 1 had epididymitis diagnosed.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Abnormal sperm parameters/reductions in sperm parameters, decreased semen volume (up to 75%), reduced total sperm count (up to 54%), reduced sperm motility (up to 51%), reduced sperm morphology (up to 31%), reduced sperm concentration (up to 26%)
Frequency not reported: Testicular pain, testicular swelling
Postmarketing reports: Scrotal pain, decreased ejaculate volume, absent ejaculation, scrotal tenderness, epididymitis[Ref]
In 1 study, decreased platelet counts (less than 150,000: 62%; less than 50,000: 2.4%) were reported at the end of therapy.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Decreased platelet counts (up to 62%)
Common (1% to 10%): Lymphangitis
Frequency not reported: Anemia, lymphadenopathy
In 1 study, transaminase elevations during therapy were reported in up to 50% of patients; elevations were mild (less than 3 times the upper limit of normal [3 x ULN]) or moderate (3 to 5 x ULN) in 94% and 6%, respectively, of patients who had an elevation. No patient discontinued therapy due to transaminase elevations.
About 5% of patients reported elevated AST and ALT above ULN at end of therapy.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Transaminase elevations (up to 50%)
Common (1% to 10%): Elevated AST, elevated ALT
Frequency not reported: Hyperbilirubinemia
Postmarketing reports: Melena[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Somnolence
Frequency not reported: Paresthesia
Postmarketing reports: Seizure[Ref]
In 1 study, creatinine elevations (at least 1.5 times above baseline) were reported in about 10% of patients at the end of therapy and 10% of patients at 6 months follow-up. In the placebo-controlled trial, 13.4% of patients had creatinine elevations of 1.5 to 3 times above baseline at end of therapy. In the comparative trial, about 5% of patients had creatinine elevations above baseline at 3 and 6 months after therapy. In the 2 active controlled trials, about 25% of patients had creatinine elevations 1.5 to 3 times above baseline at end of therapy.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Creatinine elevations (up to 25%)[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (up to 23.1%)[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus
Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, malaise, pyrexia
Frequency not reported: Fatigue, abscess
Frequency not reported: Arthritis[Ref]
Postmarketing reports: Epistaxis
More about miltefosine
Related treatment guides
1. "Product Information. Impavido (miltefosine)." Paladin Therapeutics Inc (2014):
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.