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Sargramostim Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of sargramostim include: ostealgia and hemophthalmos. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to sargramostim: intravenous powder for solution, intravenous solution

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

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking sargramostim, check with your doctor immediately:

More common:
  • Abdominal pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in eye
  • bloody nose
  • bloody stools
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • bone pain
  • chest pain
  • cloudy urine
  • congestion
  • cough
  • decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • dryness or soreness of throat
  • eye pain
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • hoarseness
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • irregular heartbeat
  • large amount of cholesterol in the blood
  • loss of appetite
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle spasms [tetany] or twitching seizures
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rapid weight gain
  • redness in whites of eyes
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • tender, swollen glands in neck
  • tightness in chest
  • tingling of hands or feet
  • trouble in swallowing
  • troubled breathing
  • trembling
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • voice changes
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking sargramostim, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • rash

Minor Side Effects

Some sargramostim 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:
  • Chills
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in moving
  • fear or nervousness
  • itching skin
  • lack or loss of strength
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain in joints
  • sleeplessness
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to sargramostim: injectable powder for injection, injectable solution


The type and frequency of adverse events following induction in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) were similar between those treated with this drug and those taking placebo.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fever (up to 95%), mucous membrane disorder (75%), asthenia (up to 66%), malaise (57%), edema (up to 34%), chills (up to 25%), pain (17%), chest pain (15%), peripheral edema (up to 15%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 90%), diarrhea (up to 89%), vomiting (up to 85%), stomatitis (up to 62%), abdominal pain (38%), gastrointestinal disorder (37%), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (up to 27%), dyspepsia (17%), hematemesis (13%), dysphagia (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, abdominal distention[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Alopecia (up to 73%), rash (up to 70%), pruritus (23%)
Common (1% to 10%): Petechia, sweats[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Infection (65%), allergy (12%), sepsis (11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Neutralizing antibodies
Frequency not reported: Allergic reaction, anaphylactoid reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (up to 54%), glucose high (41%), weight loss (37%), hyperglycemia (25%), cholesterol high (17%), hypomagnesemia (15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Calcium low, weight gain[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 36%), central nervous system disorder (11%), paresthesia (11%)
Frequency not reported: Dizziness
Postmarketing reports: Fainting[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypertension (34%), hemorrhage (up to 29%), pericardial effusion (25%), hypotension (13%), tachycardia (11%)
Postmarketing reports: Arrhythmia, thrombosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Bilirubinemia (30%), liver damage (13%), ALT increased (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Alkaline phosphatase increased
Postmarketing reports: Transient liver function abnormalities[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (28%), pharyngitis (23%), lung disorder (20%), epistaxis (17%), dyspnea (15%), rhinitis (11%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Albumin low (27%), blood dyscrasia (25%), thrombocytopenia (19%), leukopenia (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Agranulocytosis
Frequency not reported: Anemia, serum proteins low, prothrombin time prolonged, progressive increase in circulating monocytes and promonocytes and blasts in the marrow
Postmarketing reports: Eosinophilia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): BUN high (23%), creatinine increased (15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Kidney function abnormal[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Bone pain (21%), arthralgia (up to 21%), myalgia (18%)
Common (1% to 10%): Back pain
Postmarketing reports: Joint pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract disorder (14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hematuria[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (11%), anxiety (11%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Eye hemorrhage (11%)[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Injection site reactions[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Leukine (sargramostim)." Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA.

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

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