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Alemtuzumab Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Alemtuzumab has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people using alemtuzumab were carefully documented and compared to those that occurred in a similar group of people taking a different leukemia medication. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects different occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other medicine.
In these studies, the most common side effects of alemtuzumab included:
  • Low white blood cell counts -- in up to 97 percent of people
  • Low red blood cell counts (anemia) -- up to 76 percent
  • Infections -- up to 74 percent
  • Low platelet counts -- up to 71 percent
  • Fever -- up to 69 percent
  • Chills -- up to 53 percent
  • Hives -- up to 16 percent
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) -- up to 16 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 3 to 14 percent of people, included:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Fast heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Skin redness
  • Tremor
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Body pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth
  • Sensitivity to touch, leading to unpleasant or painful sensations.

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the alemtuzumab side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have problems with a medicine that you have never tried.
Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any adverse reactions while using the drug or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be related to the medication, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
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