What are the possible side effects of epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.Contact your doctor if you feel weak, lightheaded, or short of breath, or if your skin looks pale. These may be signs that your body has stopped responding to this medication.Epoetin alfa can increase your risk of life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke. This risk will increase the longer you use epoetin alfa. Seek emergency medical help if you have symptoms of heart or circulation problems, such as:
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
- swelling, rapid weight gain;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance; or
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.
Stop using epoetin alfa and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- feeling light-headed, fainting;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
- pale skin, feeling short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- seizure (black-out or convulsions);
- low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat;
- joint pain, bone pain;
- muscle pain, muscle spasm;
- dizziness, depression, mild headache;
- weight loss;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- nausea, vomiting, trouble swallowing; or
- pain or tenderness where you injected the medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.