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Thyrogen Side Effects

Generic Name: thyrotropin alpha

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug thyrotropin alpha. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Thyrogen.

For the Consumer

Applies to thyrotropin alpha: injection powder for solution

As well as its needed effects, thyrotropin alpha (the active ingredient contained in Thyrogen) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking thyrotropin alpha, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common:
  • Inability to move the legs or arms
  • paralysis of one side of the body
Rare - more common in patients who have received thyrotropin previously
  • Faintness
  • itching, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • skin rash
  • tightness of the throat
  • wheezing
  • Feeling of warmth
  • hives or welts
  • itching
  • loss of vision
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • redness of the skin
Incidence not known:
  • Chills
  • confusion
  • coughing
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty with speaking
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • headache
  • hoarseness
  • inability to move the facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • muscle or joint pain
  • noisy breathing
  • slow or irregular breathing
  • slow speech
  • sore throat
  • voice changes

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

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • dizziness dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • increased sweating
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating

Minor Side Effects

Some thyrotropin alpha 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:
  • Flushing of the face
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • stomach discomfort
Less common:
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • lack or loss of strength
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to thyrotropin alpha: intramuscular powder for injection


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included myalgia and arthralgia.[Ref]


General side effects have included influenza-like symptoms, also called flu-like symptoms, which have include fever over 100 degrees F, shivering, chills, fatigue, and malaise.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache, dizziness, asthenia, and paresthesia. In addition, acute hemiplegia and hemiparesis occurred in patients with central nervous system metastases one to three days following thyrotropin alfa treatment. Postmarketing side effects include spontaneous reports of stroke or unilateral weakness.[Ref]


Other side effects have included rare reports of events leading to death occurring within 24 hours after thyrotropin alpha (the active ingredient contained in Thyrogen) administration.

A 77 year-old non-thyroidectomized patient with a history of heart disease and spinal metastases who received 4 thyrotropin alfa injections over 6 days in a special treatment protocol experienced a fatal MI 24 hours after he received the last injection. The event was likely related to thyrotropin alfa -induced hyperthyroidism.


Oncologic side effects have included sudden, rapid and painful enlargement of locally recurring papillary carcinoma occurring within 12-48 hours of thyrotropin alpha (the active ingredient contained in Thyrogen) administration.


Cardiovascular side effects reported postmarketing include atrial arrhythmias in elderly patients with pre-existing cardiac disease.


Hypersensitivity side effects include very rare manifestations of hypersensitivity (urticaria, rash, pruritus, flushing and respiratory signs and symptoms) postmarketing in patients with advanced disease.


1. "Product Information. Thyrogen (thyrotropin alpha)." Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, MA.

It is possible that some side effects of Thyrogen 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.