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Rasburicase Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Rasburicase has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given rasburicase were carefully documented and compared to the side effects that occurred in a similar group of people given another medicine called allopurinol (Zyloprim®). 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 rasburicase side effects included:
  • Nausea -- in up to 60.9 percent of people
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet -- up to 50 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 50 percent
  • Fever -- up to 46 percent
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain -- up to 33.7 percent
  • An increase in a certain liver enzyme -- up to 27.2 percent
  • Headache -- up to 26 percent
  • Anxiety -- up to 23.9 percent
  • Low levels of phosphate in the blood (hypophosphatemia) -- up to 22.8 percent
  • A sore throat -- up to 20.7 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 15.2 percent to 20 percent of people, included:
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • High levels of bilirubin in the blood, which could cause yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Swelling, sores, or ulcers in the mouth or throat
  • Rash
  • An infection in the blood (sepsis)
  • Too much fluid in the body
  • Increase of phosphate levels in the blood (hyperphosphatemia).

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the rasburicase 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 using rasburicase 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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