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Thymoglobulin Side Effects

Generic name: anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 9, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit). Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Thymoglobulin.

For the Consumer

Applies to anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit): intravenous powder for solution


Intravenous route (Powder for Solution)

Antithymocyte globulin rabbit should only be used by physicians experienced in immunosuppressive therapy in transplantation.

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit) 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 anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit):

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bladder pain
  • bleeding gums
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cloudy or bloody urine
  • cold
  • confusion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • irregular or slow heartbeat
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling around the lips, hands, or feet
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pounding in the ears
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • troubled breathing
  • unexplained anxiety
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs

Less common

  • Burning feeling in chest or stomach tenderness
  • burning or stinging of the skin
  • indigestion
  • inflammation of joints
  • painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
  • stomach upset


  • Difficulty swallowing
  • hives, itching, rash
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit) 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

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • anxiety
  • loss of strength or energy
  • nausea
  • pain
  • swelling of the ankles, feet, and fingers
  • tightness in the chest

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit): intravenous powder for injection


Very common (10% or more): Hypertension (18%)

Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia

Frequency not reported: Myocardial infarction, hypotension, reduced oxygen supply to tissues, chest pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pyrexia (28%), pain (26%)

Frequency not reported: Lethargy, malaise[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (18%)

Frequency not reported: Dizziness, decreased sensitivity[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Leukopenia (63%), anemia (25%), thrombocytopenia (16%), neutropenia

Common (1% to 10%): Febrile neutropenia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Constipation (33%), vomiting (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, diarrhea, moniliasis, gastritis, dysphagia

Frequency not reported: Abdominal tenderness, abdominal discomfort, pain in the mouth and throat[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection (42%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Rash (13%), sweating (13%), acne (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Herpes simplex

Frequency not reported: Pruritus[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (28%), lower respiratory tract infection (13%), upper respiratory tract infection (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis

Frequency not reported: Cough, throat irritation, shortness of breath, pulmonary edema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hyperphosphatemia, acidosis, hypokalemia, anorexia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cytokine release syndrome (CRS), anaphylaxis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Infection (31%), cytomegaloviral infection (13%), sepsis (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Herpes zoster, oral candidiasis, sepsis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Serum sickness[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Infusion related reactions

Frequency not reported: Localized edema[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Myalgia (20%), arthralgia (15%)

Frequency not reported: Joint pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (20%), anxiety (14%)

Frequency not reported: Confusional state, agitation, restlessness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Transaminases increased

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hepatocellular injury, hepatotoxicity, hepatic failure[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Malignancy, lymphomas (which may be virally mediated), neoplasms malignant (solid tumors)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Lymphoproliferative disorder[Ref]

More about Thymoglobulin (anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit))

Patient resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides


1. "Product Information. Thymoglobulin (anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit))." Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, MA.

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.