Melphalan Side Effects

Some of melphalan's potential side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This prescription drug is also associated with potentially serious reactions -- such as infections, severe diarrhea, or chest pain -- that require treatment. If you are using this medicine, notify your healthcare provider right away if you develop anything that does not seem right.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Melphalan

As with any chemotherapy medicine, melphalan (Alkeran®) 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 melphalan. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Melphalan Side Effects

Some side effects of melphalan are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Signs of an infection, such as:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Aches and pains
    • Sore throat
    • Painful urination
  • Signs of anemia, such as:
    • Extreme weakness or fatigue
    • Pale skin
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dizziness
  • Any unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools
  • Swelling, burning, stinging, pain, or leakage of fluid around your injection site (the site where you receive your dose)
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:


    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Dark urine
    • Pale stool
    • Upper-right abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Severe mouth sores
  • A persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, feet, or other areas of the body
  • Weight loss
  • Any unusual lumps or masses on your body
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
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Melphalan Drug Information

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