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Oprelvekin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to oprelvekin: subcutaneous powder for solution

As well as its needed effects, oprelvekin may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

The side effects listed below include only those that might be caused by oprelvekin. To find out about other side effects that may be caused by the cancer medicines you are also receiving, see the information about those medicines.

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking oprelvekin, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common:
  • Fast heartbeat
  • fluid retention
  • irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • sore mouth or tongue
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • white patches in mouth and/or on tongue
Less common:
  • Bloody eye
  • blurred vision
  • severe redness and peeling of skin
Incidence not determined - —Observed during clinical practice with levofloxacin; estimates of frequency cannot be determined
  • bleeding
  • blistering
  • bloody urine
  • blurred vision
  • burning
  • change in ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  • cloudy urine
  • coldness
  • cough
  • decrease or increase in amount of urine
  • difficulty swallowing
  • discoloration of skin
  • dizziness
  • fainting or lightheadedness
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of pressure
  • hives
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back/side pain
  • lumps
  • nausea
  • numbness
  • pain
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes face, lips or tongue
  • rash
  • redness
  • scarring
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • soreness
  • stinging
  • stomach pain;
  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • tightness in chest
  • tingling
  • troubled breathing
  • ulceration
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • warmth at site
  • weight gain
  • wheezing

This medicine may also cause the following side effect that your doctor will watch for:

More common:
  • Heart rhythm problems

Minor Side Effects

Some oprelvekin side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common:
  • Red eyes
  • weakness
Less common:
  • Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • skin discoloration
  • skin rash at place of injection

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to oprelvekin: subcutaneous powder for injection


The most common adverse effects requiring clinical intervention were atrial arrhythmias, syncope, dyspnea, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary edema. The most common serious adverse effects were neutropenic fever, syncope, atrial fibrillation, fever, and pneumonia. The most common adverse effects were edema, dyspnea, tachycardia, conjunctival injection, palpitations, atrial arrhythmias, and pleural effusions. Other than severe asthenia, the incidence of severe or life-threatening adverse effects was comparable with this drug and placebo.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea/vomiting (77%), diarrhea (43%), mucositis (43%), oral moniliasis (14%)
Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, constipation, dyspepsia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Edema (59%), fever (36%), severe asthenia (14%)
Frequency not reported: Death, asthenia, pain, chills, flu-like symptoms, transferrin decreased, gamma globulins decreased[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (48%), rhinitis (42%), cough increased (29%), pharyngitis (25%), pleural effusions (10%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Neutropenic fever (48%)
Frequency not reported: Thrombocytosis, plasma volume increased, hemoglobin decreased, albumin decreased, plasma fibrinogen increased, Von Willebrand factor increased, acute-phase proteins increased[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (41%), dizziness (38%), syncope (13%)
Frequency not reported: Paresthesia, stroke[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (33%)
Frequency not reported: Nervousness[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Rash (25%)
Frequency not reported: Skin discoloration, exfoliative dermatitis, ecchymosis, alopecia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Tachycardia (20%), vasodilation (19%), atrial arrhythmias (up to 15%), palpitations (14%)
Frequency not reported: Thrombotic events
Postmarketing reports: Ventricular arrhythmias, capillary leak syndrome[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Conjunctival injection (19%)
Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, eye hemorrhage, papilledema
Postmarketing reports: Visual disturbances, blindness, optic neuropathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Dehydration, severe hypokalemia, anorexia, calcium decreased[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myalgia, bone pain[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Infection
Postmarketing reports: Allergic reactions, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Injection site reactions[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Renal failure[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Neumega (oprelvekin)." Genetics Institute, Cambridge, MA.

It is possible that some side effects of oprelvekin may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.