Cancer Home > Vemurafenib Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Vemurafenib has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking vemurafenib were carefully documented and compared to side effects that occurred in people taking another anticancer 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 these studies, the most common vemurafenib side effects included:
 
  • Joint pain -- in up to 53 percent of people
  • Hair loss -- up to 45 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 38 percent
  • Rash -- up to 37 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 35 percent
  • Sensitivity to the sun -- up to 33 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 28 percent
  • Skin problems and growths, such as dry skin, thickened patches of skin, and warts -- up to 24 percent
  • Itching -- up to 23 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 23 percent.
 
Other common side effects, occurring in 8 to 19 percent of people, included:
 
  • Fever
  • Pain, including general body aches, back pain, and muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, and feet
  • Skin redness or rash
  • Changes in taste
  • Constipation
  • Lack of strength or weakness
  • Sunburn
  • Coughing.
 

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the vemurafenib 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 side effects while taking this 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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