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Bendamustine Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Bendamustine has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given bendamustine were carefully documented and, in some studies, compared to the side effects that occurred in a similar group of people given a different medication. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other medicine.
In clinical studies, the most common bendamustine side effects included:
  • A decrease in lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) -- in up to 99 percent of people
  • A decrease in leukocytes (a type of white blood cell) -- up to 94 percent
  • A decrease in hemoglobin (a protein in blood that carries oxygen) -- up to 88 percent
  • A decrease in neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) -- up to 86 percent
  • A decrease in platelets, which could cause abnormal bruising and bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy) -- up to 86 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 75 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 57 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 40 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 37 percent
  • Fever -- up to 34 percent
  • Constipation -- up to 29 percent
  • Decreased or loss of appetite -- up to 23 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 5 percent to 22 percent of people, included:
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Mouth swelling, irritation, or sores
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Dehydration
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Shingles (herpes zoster)
  • Upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI, such as a bladder infection)
  • Dry mouth
  • A stuffy nose
  • Low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia)
  • Sore throat
  • Anxiety
  • Pneumonia
  • Increased levels of uric acid in the blood, which could cause gout
  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • An abnormal taste in the mouth
  • Any infection
  • Joint pain
  • Thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth)
  • Chest pain
  • Depression
  • Pain at the infusion site (the site where the needle enters the vein)
  • Any pain
  • Itching
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Abdominal (stomach) swelling
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Night sweats
  • Wheezing
  • Arm or leg pain
  • Bone pain
  • Cold sores.
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