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Mitoxantrone Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of mitoxantrone include: infection, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, fungal infection, fungal skin infection, sepsis, alopecia, amenorrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, constipation, diarrhea, ecg abnormality, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, increased gamma-glutamyl transferase, leukopenia, menstrual disease, nausea, stomatitis, urine abnormality, abdominal pain, aphthous stomatitis, asthenia, burning sensation of gastrointestinal tract, cough, decreased hemoglobin, decreased white blood cell count, dyspnea, edema, epigastric pain, fatigue, fever, hematuria, hyperglycemia, hypocalcemia, hypokalemia, increased serum glucose, lymphocytopenia, mucositis, pharyngitis, rhinitis, stomach pain, thrombocytopenia, vomiting, weight gain, abnormal absolute neutrophil count, anorexia, malaise, and nail bed changes. Other side effects include: pneumonia, renal failure syndrome, seizure, skin infection, anemia, back pain, granulocytopenia, headache, sinusitis, anxiety, arthralgia, conjunctivitis, depression, dyspepsia, heavy menstrual bleeding, hemorrhage, hypertension, hyponatremia, impotence, increased serum alanine aminotransferase, increased serum aspartate aminotransferase, ischemic heart disease, myalgia, pain, petechia, proteinuria, sterility, bruise, chills, diaphoresis, and ecchymoses. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to mitoxantrone: intravenous solution

Along with its needed effects, mitoxantrone 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 mitoxantrone:

More Common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • cough or shortness of breath
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain
  • pale skin
  • stomach pain
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less Common

  • Blood in the urine or stools
  • decrease in urination
  • fever or chills
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • seizures
  • sore, red eyes
  • swelling of the feet and lower legs
  • yellow eyes or skin


  • Blue skin at the place of injection
  • pain or redness at the place of injection
  • skin rash

Some side effects of mitoxantrone 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

  • Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
  • back pain
  • body aches or pains
  • congestion
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dryness or soreness of the throat
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • longer or heavier menstrual periods
  • nausea or vomiting
  • oral bleeding
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stopping of menstrual bleeding
  • stuffy nose
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • thinning of the hair

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to mitoxantrone: intravenous solution


Very common (10% or more): Platelets low (up to 33%), leukopenia (up to 19%), white blood cells low (up to 100%)

Common (1% to 10%): Myelosuppression (especially leucopenia)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Thrombocytopenia, anemia

Frequency not reported: Bone marrow depression[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute myelodysplastic syndrome (AMS)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 76%), stomatitis (up to 19%), diarrhea (up to 16%), gastralgia/stomach burn/epigastric pain (up to 14%), constipation (up to 10%), aphthosis (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anorexia, GI bleeding, abdominal pain, altered taste

Frequency not reported: Mucositis, vomiting[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Arrhythmia (up to 18%), ECG abnormal (up to 11%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypotension

Frequency not reported: Acute arrhythmias, transient ECG alterations, reduced left ventricular output, cardiac insufficiency, congestive heart failure (CHF)[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Phlebitis, erythema, swelling, pain, burning and/or blue discoloration of the skin

Rare (less than 0.1%): Tissue necrosis (following extravasation)[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Somnolence, mild paresthesia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anaphylaxis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Reversible alopecia (up to 61%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urticaria, rash, nail pigmentation, onycholysis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Elevated serum creatinine, elevated blood urea nitrogen

Frequency not reported: Renal failure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase increased (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT) increased, aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) increased, granulocytopenia, anemia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased liver enzyme levels, elevated bilirubin levels[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Asthenia (up to 24%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Fever, fatigue, weakness[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Menstrual disorder (including amenorrhea) (up to 61%), urinary tract infection (up to 32%), abnormal urine (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Menorrhagia

Frequency not reported: Blue-green coloration of the urine 1 to 2 days after administration[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Amenorrhea[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Infection (e.g., tonsillitis, enteritis, urinary tract infection, viral infection, endometritis) (up to 85%), cutaneous mycosis (up to 10%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Glucose high (up to 10%), potassium low (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Back pain

Rare (less than 0.1%): Tumor lysis syndrome (characterized by hyperuricemia, hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatasemia, hypocalcemia)[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Reversible blue coloration of the sclera

Frequency not reported: Lethargy, fatigue, seizures[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Depression[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (up to 53%), pharyngitis/throat infection (up to 19%), rhinitis (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Sinusitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea, pneumonitis[Ref]


1. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia "APPGuide online. Australian prescription products guide online. Available from: URL:" ([2006]):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Novantrone (mitoxantrone)." Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA.

Further information

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.