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Tigecycline Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of tigecycline include: nausea and vomiting. Other side effects include: infection and hypoproteinemia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to tigecycline: intravenous powder for solution

Along with its needed effects, tigecycline 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 tigecycline:

More common
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • dizziness
  • fever or chills
  • headache
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain, warmth, or burning in the fingers, toes, and legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • problems with vision or hearing
Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • accumulation of pus
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • changes in skin color
  • confusion
  • decreased urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fat in the stool
  • irregular heartbeat
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pain
  • rapid weight gain
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sweating
  • swollen, red, tender area of infection
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • Anxiety
  • black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • clay-colored stools
  • cold sweats
  • dark urine
  • depression
  • muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  • nightmares
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • rash
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • swollen glands
  • tremor
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
  • Bloating
  • constipation
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • hives
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue

Some side effects of tigecycline 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
  • Red streaks on the skin
  • swelling, tenderness, or pain at the injection site
Less common Rare
  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  • change in taste or bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • increased clear or white vaginal discharge
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tigecycline: intravenous powder for injection


In clinical trials, 2514 patients were treated with tigecycline. In comparative trials, serious side effects related to infection were reported more often in patients treated with tigecycline (7%) versus comparators (6%), with sepsis/septic shock reported in 2% and 1% of patients treated with tigecycline and comparator drugs, respectively. The most common side effects were nausea and vomiting which usually occurred within the first 2 days of treatment. Tigecycline was discontinued due to side effects in 7% of patients (compared to 6% for all comparators). Discontinuation was most often due to nausea (1%) and vomiting (1%) in tigecycline-treated patients and nausea (less than 1%) in comparator-treated patients.

In all 13 Phase 3 and 4 trials that included a comparator, death occurred in 4% and 3% of patients receiving tigecycline and comparator drugs, respectively. The cause of this imbalance has not been determined. In general, deaths resulted from worsening infection, complications of infection, or underlying comorbidities.[Ref]


The majority of cases of nausea and vomiting were mild to moderate in severity.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 35%), vomiting (up to 20%), diarrhea (12%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia (2%), anorexia (less than 2%), abnormal stools (less than 2%), taste perversion (less than 2%)
Frequency not reported: Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis (including fatal cases), constipation, dry mouth, interstitial or edematous pancreatitis, acute necrotizing pancreatitis
Postmarketing reports: Acute pancreatitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Infection (7%), abdominal pain (6%), asthenia (3%), abscess (2%), sepsis/septic shock (up to 2%), chills (less than 2%)
Frequency not reported: Back pain, fever, pain, local reaction to procedure, peripheral edema, wound infections[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache (6%), dizziness (3%)
Frequency not reported: Insomnia, somnolence[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased SGPT (5%), increased SGOT (4%), bilirubinemia (2%), jaundice (less than 2%)
Rare (less than 0.1%): Significant hepatic dysfunction, hepatic failure
Frequency not reported: Hyperbilirubinemia, increased liver enzymes
Postmarketing reports: Hepatic cholestasis, jaundice[Ref]

Isolated cases of significant hepatic dysfunction and hepatic failure have been reported.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anemia (5%); Less than 2%: Prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prolonged prothrombin time (PT), eosinophilia, increased international normalized ratio (INR), thrombocytopenia
Frequency not reported: Thrombocythemia, leukocytosis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypoproteinemia (5%), increased alkaline phosphatase (3%), abnormal healing (3%), increased amylase (3%), hyponatremia (2%), hypocalcemia (less than 2%), hypoglycemia (less than 2%)
Frequency not reported: Hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, increased lactic dehydrogenase
Postmarketing reports: Symptomatic hypoglycemia[Ref]

Symptomatic hypoglycemia was reported in patients with and without diabetes mellitus.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash (3%), pruritus (less than 2%)
Frequency not reported: Sweating, diffuse cutaneous hyperpigmentation
Postmarketing reports: Severe skin reactions (including Stevens-Johnson syndrome)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Phlebitis (3%), thrombophlebitis (less than 2%)
Frequency not reported: Hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia, vasodilatation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased BUN (3%), increased creatinine (less than 2%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia (2%)
Frequency not reported: Increased cough, dyspnea, pulmonary changes[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Allergic reaction (less than 2%)
Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions


Common (1% to 10%): Less than 2%: Injection site pain, injection site inflammation, injection site reaction, injection site phlebitis, injection site edema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Less than 2%: Vaginal moniliasis, vaginitis, leukorrhea[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Tygacil (tigecycline)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

2. Mascarello M, Papa G, Arnez ZM, Luzzati R "Acute necrotizing pancreatitis related to tigecycline." J Antimicrob Chemother 67 (2012): 1296-7

3. Yahav D, Lador A, Paul M, Leibovici L "Efficacy and safety of tigecycline: a systematic review and meta-analysis." J Antimicrob Chemother 66 (2011): 1963-71

4. Townsend ML, Pound MW, Drew RH "Tigecycline in the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal and complicated skin and skin structure infections." Ther Clin Risk Manag 3 (2007): 1059-70

5. Slover CM, Rodvold KA, Danziger LH "Tigecycline: a novel broad-spectrum antimicrobial." Ann Pharmacother 41 (2007): 965-72

6. Knueppel RC, Rahimian J "Diffuse cutaneous hyperpigmentation due to tigecycline or polymyxin B." Clin Infect Dis 45 (2007): 136-8

Some side effects of tigecycline may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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.