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Therapy for myelofibrosis (MF) can sometimes produce side effects. For most patients, treatment side effects are temporary and go away once therapy ends. For other patients, side effects can be more severe, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Some patients never have side effects.

Before you undergo treatment, talk with your doctor about potential side effects. Drugs and other therapies can prevent or manage many side effects.

Drug Therapy Side Effects

Side effects of ruxolitinib (JakafiTM) include

  • thrombocytopenia (a decrease below the normal number of platelets)
  • anemia
  • bruising
  • dizziness
  • headache

Side effects of anagrelide (Agrylin®) include

Side effects of interferon alfa (Intron® A, Roferan-A®) include

Side effects of androgens include

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chemotherapy drugs are the main culprits when it comes to causing unwanted side effects. These drugs can kill cancer cells, but they damage normal cells, too. The lining of the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines are particularly vulnerable to damage.

The side effects you may experience depend on:

  • the intensity of chemotherapy
  • the drugs used during therapy
  • your overall health and whether you have any chronic health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease

Side effects common to chemotherapy include:

Other drugs used to treat myelofibrosis include thalidomide (Thalomid(R)), lenalidomide (Revlimid(R)), Epogen(R), Procrit(R), glucocorticoids, pamidronate disodium (Aredia(R)) and zoledronic acid (Zometa(R)). For side effects information, please see the free LLS publication Understanding Drug Therapy and Managing Side Effects and the FDA drug information webpage

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last updated on Tuesday, May 01, 2012

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