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Ontak Side Effects

Because it can be difficult to predict whether you will develop side effects while using Ontak, make sure to review potentially serious reactions with this medicine that require immediate medical care. For example, call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience chest pain, vision problems, or persistent vomiting. Other reported problems include nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea.

An Introduction to Ontak Side Effects

Just like any chemotherapy medicine, Ontak® (denileukin diftitox) can cause side effects, some of which can be quite significant. Although not everyone who receives this drug will have problems, most people will experience some type of side effect. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen adverse reactions during treatment.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Ontak. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Ontak

Ontak has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given the drug were carefully documented and compared to those that occurred in a similar group of people who received an injection that did not contain any active ingredients (a placebo). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
In these studies, the most common Ontak side effects included:
  • Fever -- in up to 63.6 percent of people
  • Nausea -- up to 60 percent
  • Chills or shivering -- up to 47.3 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 46.7 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 34.5 percent
  • Headache -- up to 28.9 percent
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet -- up to 25.5 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 22.2 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 20 percent
  • Rash -- up to 20 percent
  • Muscle aches -- up to 20 percent
  • Cough -- up to 20 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 10.9 percent to 18.2 percent of people, included:
  • Itching
  • Back pain
  • Weakness or lack of energy
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold)
  • Dizziness
  • Joint pain
  • General pain
  • Chest pain
  • Abnormal taste in the mouth
  • Shortness of breath.
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Ontak Medication Information

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