Cancer Home > Neulasta Side Effects
Headaches, bone pain, and joint pain are some of the most common problems reported with Neulasta. Side effects that are rare but potentially serious (and may require immediate medical attention) include increased cancer growth, signs of an enlarged or ruptured spleen, and difficulty breathing. While side effects are minor in most cases, you should contact your healthcare provider if you develop any problems.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Neulasta. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Neulasta side effects with you.)
Neulasta has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. In these studies, the most common side effects of Neulasta included:
- Bone pain -- in up to 57 percent of people
- Muscle pain -- up to 21 percent
- Headaches -- up to 16 percent
- Joint pain -- up to 16 percent
- Vomiting -- up to 13 percent
- Weakness -- up to 13 percent
- Swelling or water retention in the ankles or feet -- up to 12 percent
- Constipation -- up to 10 percent.
Neulasta is given to help prevent infection due to chemotherapy. In studies of Neulasta, some side effects were common but were most likely due to the chemotherapy, not to the drug itself. These common side effects included: