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Nelarabine Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 20, 2023.

Applies to nelarabine: intravenous solution.


Intravenous route (Solution)

Severe neurologic adverse reactions, including altered mental states, severe somnolence, CNS effects including convulsions, and peripheral neuropathy ranging from numbness and paresthesias to motor weakness and paralysis, have been reported with the use of nelarabine. There have also been reports of adverse reactions associated with demyelination, and ascending peripheral neuropathies similar in appearance to Guillain-Barré syndrome. Cessation of therapy has not always resulted in a full recovery from these adverse reactions. Monitor frequently for signs and symptoms of neurologic toxicity. Discontinue nelarabine for neurologic adverse reactions of NCI Common Toxicity Criteria (CTCAE) for adverse events Grade 2 or greater.

Serious side effects of Nelarabine

Along with its needed effects, nelarabine 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 nelarabine:

More common

Less common

Other side effects of Nelarabine

Some side effects of nelarabine 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to nelarabine: intravenous solution.


Very common (10% or more): Anemia (99%), leucopenia (94%), thrombocytopenia (88%), febrile neutropenia (12%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Somnolence (23%), peripheral neurological disorders (sensory and motor) (21%), dizziness (21%), hypoesthesia (17%), paresthesia (15%), headache (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Seizures (e.g., convulsions, grand mal convulsions, status epilepticus), ataxia, balance disorder, tremor, dysgeusia

Postmarketing reports: Demyelination and ascending peripheral neuropathies similar in appearance to Guillain-Barre syndrome[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (50%), pyrexia (23%), asthenia (17%), Peripheral edema (15%), pain (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal gait[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (22%), diarrhea (22%), vomiting (22%), constipation (21%)

Common (1% to 10%): Stomatitis, abdominal pain, abdominal distention[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cough (26%), dyspnea (20%), pleural effusion (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Wheezing, epistaxis, exertional dyspnea[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Transaminases increased (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperbilirubinemia, aspartate aminotransferase increased[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypokalemia (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Tumor lysis syndrome, anorexia, hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Muscle weakness, arthralgia, back pain, pain in extremity

Rare (less than 0.1%): Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Confusion, amnesia, insomnia, depression[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, tachycardia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Petechiae (12%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Infection (e.g., sepsis, bacteremia, pneumonia, fungal infection) (39%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blood creatinine increased[Ref]


1. (2005) "Product Information. Arranon (nelarabine)." GlaxoSmithKline

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

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.