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Nipent Side Effects

Generic name: pentostatin

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 27, 2020.

Note: This document contains side effect information about pentostatin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Nipent.

In Summary

Common side effects of Nipent include: skin rash. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to pentostatin: intravenous powder for solution

Warning

Intravenous route (Powder for Solution)

Pentostatin should be administered under the supervision of a physician qualified and experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. The use of doses higher than those specified is not recommended. Dose-limiting severe renal, liver, pulmonary, and CNS toxicities occurred in Phase 1 studies that used pentostatin at higher doses (20 to 50 mg/m(2) in divided doses over 5 days) than recommended. In a clinical investigation in patients with refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia using pentostatin at the recommended dose in combination with fludarabine phosphate, 4 of 6 patients entered in the study had severe or fatal pulmonary toxicity. The use of pentostatin in combination with fludarabine phosphate is not recommended.

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, pentostatin (the active ingredient contained in Nipent) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, pentostatin may cause some unwanted effects. Some side effects will have signs or symptoms that you can see or feel. Your doctor may watch for others by doing certain tests.

Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking pentostatin:

More common

  • Cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • skin rash or itching (sudden)
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • cramps in lower legs
  • mental depression
  • nosebleed
  • numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness
  • sore, red eyes
  • sores in the mouth or on the lips
  • stomach pain
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • trouble with sleeping
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of pentostatin 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

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to pentostatin: intravenous powder for injection

Hematologic

Very common (10% or more): Leukopenia (22%), thrombocytopenia, anemia, blood disorder, eosinophilia, hypochromic pancytopenia

Common (1% to 10%): Agranulocytosis, acute leukemia, febrile neutropenia, ecchymosis, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, hemorrhage, agranulocytosis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pure red cell aplasia, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, anemia-hemolytic, aplastic anemia hemolytic uremic syndrome, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura

Rare (less than 0.1%): Autoimmune thrombocytopenia[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea/vomiting (63%), diarrhea (17%), abdominal pain (16%), stomatitis (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Oral candidiasis, perianal abscess, dental abnormalities, dyspepsia, flatulence, gingivitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Acute gastroenteritis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Esophageal candidiasis

Frequency not reported: Constipation, dysphagia, glossitis, ileus[Ref]

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Rash (43%), pruritus (21%)

Common (1% to 10%): Furunculosis, abscess skin, mycotic skin infection, sweating, skin disorder, face edema, dry skin urticaria[Ref]

Hepatic

Common (1% to 10%): Hepatic disorder, elevated liver function tests

Frequency not reported: Kidney function abnormal, nephropathy[Ref]

Genitourinary

Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cystitis

Frequency not reported: Amenorrhea, breast lump, impotence[Ref]

Respiratory

Very common (10% or more): Cough (20%), upper respiratory infection (13%), rhinitis (11%), dyspnea (11%), pharyngitis

Common (1% to 10%): Sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, E. coli pneumonia, fungal pneumonia, asthma

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pulmonary aspergillosis, pulmonary aspergillosis

Frequency not reported: Bronchospasm, larynx edema[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, paresthesia

Frequency not reported: Amnesia, ataxia, convulsions, dysarthria, encephalitis, hyperkinesia, meningism, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, paralysis, syncope, twitching, vertigo[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, hypotension

Frequency not reported: Angina pectoris, arrhythmia, A-V block, bradycardia, extrasystoles ventricular, heart arrest, heart failure, hypertension, pericardial effusion, phlebitis, pulmonary embolus, sinus arrest, tachycardia, thrombophlebitis deep, vasculitis[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Common (1% to 10%): Allergic reaction

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Anaphylaxis[Ref]

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Conjunctivitis

Frequency not reported: Amblyopia, dry eyes, labyrinthitis, lacrimation disorder, nonreactive eye, photophobia, retinopathy, abnormal vision, watery eyes[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Very common (10% or more): Myalgia (19%)

Common (1% to 10%): Osteomyelitis, arthralgia

Frequency not reported: Arthritis, gout[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (13%)

Common (1% to 10%): Neurologic disorder, CNS/CNS toxicity

Frequency not reported: Hypercalcemia, hyponatremia[Ref]

Immunologic

Very common (10% or more): Viral infection

Common (1% to 10%): (Herpes zoster, infection unspecified), cellulitis, bacterial infection, herpes simplex, sepsis, septic shock, staphylococcal infection, Graft versus host disease

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Clostridium difficile colitis, cytomegalovirus infection, graft failure

Frequency not reported: Influenza-like symptoms[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Confusion, insomnia, somnolence, anxiety, depression, nervousness

Frequency not reported: decrease/loss libido, emotional lability, hallucination, hostility, neurosis, thinking abnormal, dreaming abnormal[Ref]

Oncologic

Common (1% to 10%): Neoplasms, skin carcinoma

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tumor lysis syndrome

Frequency not reported: Acute leukemia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia[Ref]

Other

Very common (10% or more): Fever (46%), fatigue (42%), chills (19%), asthenia (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pain, peripheral edema

Frequency not reported: Hangover effect, deafness, earache, tinnitus, unusual taste[Ref]

Renal

Common (1% to 10%): Urosepsis, elevated creatinine

Frequency not reported: Renal failure, renal insufficiency, renal stone[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Nipent (pentostatin)." Hospira Inc, Lake Forest, IL.

2. Cheson BD "Infectious and immunosuppressive complications of purine analog therapy." J Clin Oncol 13 (1995): 2431-48

3. Kraut EH, Neff JC, Bouroncle BA, Gochnour D, Grever MR "Immunosuppressive effects of pentostatin." J Clin Oncol 8 (1990): 848-55

4. Sorensen JM, Chun HG, Vena D, Fallavollita A, Cheson BD "PENTOSTATIN (DCF) THERAPY FOR HAIRY CELL LEUKEMIA (HCL): UPDATE OF A GROUP C PROTOCOL OF 208 PATIENTS (PTS) WHO HAVE FAILED INTERFERON ALPHA (IFNA) (MEETING ABSTRACT)." Proc Annu Meet Am Soc Clin Oncol 10 (1991): a7871991

5. Cassileth PA, Cheuvart B, Spiers AS, Harrington DP, Cummings FJ, Neiman RS, Bennett JM, O'Connell MJ "Pentostatin induces durable remissions in hairy cell leukemia." J Clin Oncol 9 (1991): 243-6

6. Grem JL, King SA, Chun HG, Grever MR "Cardiac complications observed in elderly patients following 2'- deoxycoformycin therapy." Am J Hematol 38 (1991): 245-7

7. Bruno JJ, Canada TW "Possible pentostatin-induced symptomatic hyponatremia." Pharmacotherapy 27 (2007): 164-9

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.