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Novantrone Side Effects

If you are receiving treatment with Novantrone and experience fever, bloody stools, or sudden weight gain, contact your healthcare provider right away. Dangerous problems can occur with this prescription medication, so it is important to know which reactions require urgent medical treatment. Some of the other possible side effects of Novantrone include nausea, diarrhea, and hair loss.


An Introduction to Novantrone Side Effects

Just like any medicine, Novantrone® (mitoxantrone) can cause side effects. And, like most cancer medicines, the side effects can be significant. Although not everyone who uses the medication will have problems, most people will experience some type of Novantrone side effect. If adverse reactions do occur, in many cases, they are minor and are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Novantrone. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of Novantrone

Novantrone has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to those that occurred in a similar group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients) or another medication. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo or the other medicine.
In these studies, the most common Novantrone side effects included:
  • Low white blood cell counts (which could increase the risk for infections) -- in up to 100 percent of people
  • Low hemoglobin count -- up to 83 percent
  • An infection -- up to 81 percent
  • Fever -- up to 78 percent 
  • Nausea and vomiting -- up to 76 percent
  • Hair loss -- up to 61 percent
  • Menstrual changes in women (including loss of menstrual period) -- up to 61 percent
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold) -- up to 53 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 47 percent
  • Pain -- up to 45 percent
  • Low platelet count (which could increase the risk for bleeding) -- up to 43 percent
  • An increase in certain liver enzymes -- up to 41 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 39 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 5 percent to 34 percent of people, included:
  • Blood infection (sepsis)
  • High blood glucose (blood sugar)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Swelling of the body due to water retention
  • Inflammation or sores in the lining of the mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of strength or weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain, heartburn, or indigestion
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Fungal infections
  • Changes of the fingernails or toenails
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual periods in women
  • Inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelid and eye (conjunctivitis, or "pink eye")
  • Bruising
  • Small red or purple spots on the body
  • Skin infections
  • Blood in the urine
  • Low blood calcium levels
  • Low blood sodium levels
  • Low blood potassium levels
  • Sweating and chills
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Serious internal bleeding, including stomach bleeding
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart problems, including heart failure.
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Novantrone Medication Information

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