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Thyrogen Side Effects

Generic Name: thyrotropin alpha

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

For the Consumer

Applies to thyrotropin alpha: injection powder for solution

Along with its needed effects, thyrotropin alpha (the active ingredient contained in Thyrogen) 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 thyrotropin alpha:

More Common

  • Inability to move the legs or arms
  • paralysis of one side of the body


- 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

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking thyrotropin alpha:

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

Some side effects of thyrotropin alpha 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

  • 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.

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.