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Photofrin Side Effects

Generic name: porfimer

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 2, 2023.

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

Applies to porfimer: intravenous powder for solution.

Serious side effects of Photofrin

Along with its needed effects, porfimer (the active ingredient contained in Photofrin) 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 porfimer:

More common

Less common

Other side effects of Photofrin

Some side effects of porfimer 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 porfimer: intravenous powder for injection.

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Photosensitivity reaction (37%)

Postmarketing reports: Angioedema, blister, dry skin, erythema, face edema, photodermatosis, pigmentation disorder, pruritus, pseudoporphyria, rash, skin burning sensation, sunburn, urticaria[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea (37%), esophageal stricture (36%), vomiting (31%), esophageal narrowing (30%), constipation (24%), dysphagia (24%)

abdominal pain (20%)

Common (1% to 10%): Esophageal bleeding, esophageal edema, hematemesis, dyspepsia, esophageal stenosis, diarrhea, esophagitis, eructation, melena, esophageal pain, hiccups, odynophagia

Frequency not reported: Esophageal perforation, gastric ulcer, ileus, peritonitis, regurgitation, heartburn

Postmarketing reports: Gastrointestinal necrosis, dry lips, mouth edema, esophageal fistula, esophageal ulcer, oral pain, esophageal injury[Ref]

Hematologic

Very common (10% or more): Anemia (32%)

Postmarketing reports: Leukocytosis, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, increased C-reactive protein, erythropenia, decreased hemoglobin, prolonged prothrombin time, increased blood urea[Ref]

Respiratory

Very common (10% or more): Pleural effusion (32%), dyspnea (30%), exudate (22%), bronchial mucus plug or bronchial obstruction (21%), pneumonia (18%), cough (15%), hemoptysis (16%), pharyngitis (11%), bronchiostenosis (11%), bronchitis (10%), respiratory insufficiency (10%), respiratory distress

Common (1% to 10%): Tracheoesophageal fistula, bronchial ulceration

Frequency not reported: Bronchospasm, laryngotracheal edema, pneumonitis, pulmonary hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, stridor, mediastinal inflammation, pulmonary thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, lung abscess, increased sputum

Postmarketing reports: Bronchial injury, bronchial fistula, bronchial hemorrhage, hiccups[Ref]

Other

Very common (10% or more): Pyrexia (31%), chest pain (31%), pain (22%), generalized edema (18%), chest discomfort (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Peripheral edema, asthenia/fatigue/malaise, substernal chest pain, candidiasis, post-procedural complication, post-procedural pain, sepsis

Postmarketing reports: Chills, swelling, decreased total protein[Ref]

Psychiatric

Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Confusional state, anxiety[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Very common (10% or more): Back pain (11%)[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Very common (10% or more): Atrial fibrillation (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Cardiac failure, tachycardia, hypotension, hypertension

Frequency not reported: Angina pectoris, bradycardia, myocardial infarction, sick sinus syndrome, supraventricular tachycardia

Postmarketing reports: First degree atrioventricular block, deep vein thrombosis, embolism, phlebitis[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Dehydration (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Decreased weight, anorexia

Frequency not reported: Fluid imbalance

Postmarketing reports: Fluid overload, hypocalcemia[Ref]

Genitourinary

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

Postmarketing reports: Bladder spasm, dysuria, hydronephrosis, micturition urgency, nocturia, urinary retention[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dysphonia

Frequency not reported: Cerebrovascular accident

Postmarketing reports: Dizziness, hypoesthesia, vasovagal syncope[Ref]

Oncologic

Common (1% to 10%): Tumor hemorrhage[Ref]

Hepatic

Frequency not reported: Jaundice

Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis, portal vein thrombosis[Ref]

Ocular

Frequency not reported: Cataracts, ocular sensitivity, abnormal vision, diplopia, eye pain, photophobia

Postmarketing reports: Asthenopia, ocular hyperemia, abnormal visual acuity test[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity[Ref]

Local

Postmarketing reports: Infusion reactions, application site edema[Ref]

References

1. Product Information. Photofrin (porfimer). Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals. 2001.

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.