Pentostatin Side Effects
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 19, 2022.
Commonly reported side effects of pentostatin include: skin rash. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
Applies to pentostatin: intravenous powder for solution.
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.
Serious side effects of Pentostatin
Along with its needed effects, pentostatin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Serious side effects of Pentostatin
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:
- Cough or hoarseness
- fever or chills
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- skin rash or itching (sudden)
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Anxiety or nervousness
- black, tarry stools
- blood in the urine or stools
- changes in vision
- chest pain
- cramps in lower legs
- mental depression
- numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- shortness of breath
- 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
Other side effects of Pentostatin
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:
- Back pain
- bloating or gas
- dry skin
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint pain
- weight loss
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to pentostatin: intravenous powder for injection.
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]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Acute gastroenteritis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Esophageal candidiasis
Very common (10% or more): Rash (43%), pruritus (21%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hepatic disorder, elevated liver function tests
Frequency not reported: Kidney function abnormal, nephropathy[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cystitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pulmonary aspergillosis, pulmonary aspergillosis
Frequency not reported: Bronchospasm, larynx edema[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Headache (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, paresthesia
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]
Common (1% to 10%): Allergic reaction
Common (1% to 10%): Conjunctivitis
Very common (10% or more): Myalgia (19%)
Common (1% to 10%): Osteomyelitis, arthralgia
Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Neurologic disorder, CNS/CNS toxicity
Very common (10% or more): Viral infection
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]
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]
Very common (10% or more): Fever (46%), fatigue (42%), chills (19%), asthenia (12%)
Common (1% to 10%): Pain, peripheral edema
Common (1% to 10%): Urosepsis, elevated creatinine
More about pentostatin
- Check interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Drug class: antibiotics/antineoplastics
- En español
Related treatment guides
1. Kraut EH, Neff JC, Bouroncle BA, Gochnour D, Grever MR "Immunosuppressive effects of pentostatin." J Clin Oncol 8 (1990): 848-55
2. Cheson BD "Infectious and immunosuppressive complications of purine analog therapy." J Clin Oncol 13 (1995): 2431-48
3. "Product Information. Nipent (pentostatin)." Hospira Inc (2001):
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
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.