Ovarian Cancer Home > Hexalen Side Effects

Treatment with Hexalen may cause side effects in some people. Studies have shown that nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite are some of the most commonly reported problems in people taking this drug. Research has also shown that this prescription medicine can also cause potentially serious complications, such as severe vomiting, seizures, or hallucinations.

An Introduction to Hexalen Side Effects

As with any chemotherapy medicine, Hexalen® (altretamine) can cause side effects. In fact, most people will experience some type of reaction to this drug, and some side effects can be quite significant. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this medicine.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Hexalen. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects With Hexalen

Hexalen has been studied extensively in clinical studies. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking Hexalen were carefully documented. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred and how often they appeared.
Based on these studies, possible Hexalen side effects include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea and vomiting -- in up to 33 percent of people
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, or other unusual sensations, especially of the hands and feet -- up to 31 percent
  • Anemia (see Chemotherapy and Anemia) -- up to 33 percent
  • Low levels of platelets (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy) -- up to 9 percent
  • An increase in certain liver enzymes -- up to 9 percent
  • Changes in how the kidneys function -- up to 9 percent
  • Low levels of white blood cells (see Chemotherapy and Infections) -- up to 5 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 1 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 1 percent.
Other rare but possible side effects, occurring in less than 1 percent of people, include:
  • Liver problems
  • Skin rash
  • Itching of the skin
  • Hair loss.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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