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Venetoclax Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Nov 26, 2022.


Commonly reported side effects of venetoclax include: tumor lysis syndrome and neutropenia. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

Applies to venetoclax: oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Venetoclax

Along with its needed effects, venetoclax 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking venetoclax:

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bladder pain
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • bone pain
  • chest pain or tightness
  • chills
  • cloudy urine
  • confusion
  • cough
  • coughing up blood
  • decreased urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • difficulty in moving
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
  • increased thirst
  • itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle cramps, pains, or stiffness
  • muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching seizures
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nosebleeds
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pale skin
  • paralysis
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • rapid weight gain
  • rapid, shallow breathing
  • red or black, tarry stools
  • red or dark brown urine
  • seizures
  • slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trembling
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Less common

  • Diarrhea
  • holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness

Incidence not known

  • Ear congestion
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • stomach pain
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth

Other side effects of Venetoclax

Some side effects of venetoclax 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

  • Back pain
  • decreased appetite
  • difficulty having a bowel movement
  • mouth or throat pain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to venetoclax: oral kit, oral tablet.


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (35%), nausea (33%), vomiting (15%), constipation (14%)[Ref]


The most common adverse reactions (20% or greater) of any grade were neutropenia, diarrhea, nausea, anemia, upper respiratory tract infection, thrombocytopenia, and fatigue.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Neutropenia (45%), anemia (29%), thrombocytopenia (22%)

Common (1% to 10%): Febrile neutropenia

Frequency not reported: Autoimmune hemolytic anemia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hyperkalemia (20%), hyperphosphatemia (15%), hypokalemia (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Tumor lysis syndrome, hypocalcemia, hyperuricemia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Back pain (10%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (15%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (21%), pyrexia (16%), peripheral edema (11%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (22%), cough (13%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Product Information. Venclexta (venetoclax). AbbVie US LLC. 2016.

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.