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Visudyne Side Effects

Generic name: verteporfin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 29, 2022.

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

Applies to verteporfin: powder for solution.

Serious side effects of Visudyne

Along with its needed effects, verteporfin (the active ingredient contained in Visudyne) 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 verteporfin:

More common

  • Blurred vision or other change in vision

Less common

  • Decrease in vision, may be severe
  • dizziness
  • dull nervousness
  • eye pain
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • itching, redness, or other irritation of eye
  • pale skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • troubled breathing on exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects of Visudyne

Some side effects of verteporfin 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

  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, infection, itching, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, and/or warmth at the injection site
  • headache

Less common

  • Back pain (during infusion of verteporfin)
  • chills
  • cloudy urine
  • constipation
  • cough
  • decreased hearing
  • decreased sensitivity to touch
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or painful urination
  • difficulty in moving
  • double vision
  • dry eyes
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hoarseness
  • increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  • joint pain
  • light headedness
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of strength or energy
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • pain, swelling, or redness in joints
  • pelvic discomfort
  • redness or other discoloration of skin
  • runny nose
  • severe sunburn
  • shivering
  • skin rash
  • sore throat
  • sweating
  • tearing
  • tender, swollen glands in neck
  • throat congestion
  • trouble in sleeping
  • trouble in swallowing
  • trouble sleeping
  • varicose veins
  • voice changes
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to verteporfin: intravenous powder for injection.


Severe vision decrease, equivalent of more than 4 lines, within 7 days after treatment has been reported in 1% to 5% of patients. Partial recovery of vision was observed in some patients.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Cataract (up to 20%)

Common (1% to 10%): Visual impairment (e.g., blurry, hazy, fuzzy vision, flashes of light), visual acuity reduced, visual field defect (grey or dark haloes, scotoma, black spots), blepharitis, cataract in the untreated eye, dry eye, severe vision decrease with or without subretinal/retinal or vitreous hemorrhage, diplopia conjunctivitis/conjunctival injection, ocular itching

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Retinal detachment, retinal hemorrhage, vitreous hemorrhage, retinal edema

Rare (less than 0.1%): Retinal ischemia (retinal or choroidal vessel nonperfusion)

Frequency not reported: Retinal pigment epithelial tear, macular edema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Injection site edema, injection site inflammation, injection site extravasation, injection site pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site hemorrhage, injection site discoloration, injection site hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Injection site vesicles, injection site necrosis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disorder, varicose veins

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypertension

Frequency not reported: Irregular heart rate, blood pressure fluctuation, flushing, myocardial infarction[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Photosensitivity reaction, pruritus, skin disorder, eczema

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash, urticaria

Frequency not reported: Hyperhidrosis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, constipation, GI cancer

Frequency not reported: Pelvic pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Leukopenia, anemia, white blood cell count decreased, white blood cell count increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Elevated liver function tests[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, arthrosis, arthralgia, myasthenia[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Syncope, headache, vertigo

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia

Frequency not reported: Presyncope (vasovagal reactions)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Cough, dyspnea, pharyngitis, pneumonia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Prostatic disorder[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, decreased hearing

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pyrexia

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Malaise[Ref]


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


Common (1% to 10%): Influenza syndrome[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypercholesterolemia, albuminuria, creatinine increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Sleep disorder[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Visudyne (verteporfin)." Valeant Pharmaceuticals (2001):

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.