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Generic Name: brentuximab vedotin (bren TUX i mab ve DOE tin)
Brand Names: Adcetris
Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) is used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Includes Adcetris side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Adcetris is used to treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma that could relapse or has already relapsed after a stem cell transplant or treatment with other cancer medications. Adcetris is also used to treat anaplastic large cell lymphoma that affects organs throughout the body (systemic) or that is confined only to the skin (primary cutaneous). Adcetris is sometimes given after other treatments have failed. Learn more

Adcetris Side Effects

Adcetris Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about brentuximab. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Adcetris.

In Summary

More frequent side effects include: peripheral motor neuropathy. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to brentuximab: intravenous powder for solution


Intravenous route (Powder for Solution)

John Cunningham (JC) virus infection resulting in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and death can occur in patients receiving brentuximab vedotin.

Along with its needed effects, brentuximab (the active ingredient contained in Adcetris) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking brentuximab:

More common

  • Back pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • body aches or pain
  • bone pain
  • burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  • chills
  • cough
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • bladder pain
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • cloudy urine
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • itching
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • muscle pain
  • rapid weight gain
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • seizures
  • severe pain in the chest
  • stomach pain
  • sudden onset of severe breathing difficulty
  • thickening of bronchial secretions
  • unusual weight gain or loss

Incidence not known

  • Clay-colored stools
  • dark urine
  • dry mouth
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • heartburn
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • indigestion
  • nausea
  • severe abdominal pain, cramping, or burning
  • severe constipation
  • severe vomiting
  • troubled breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of brentuximab may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Decreased appetite or weight
  • difficulty having a bowel movement
  • difficulty with moving
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • muscle spasm or stiffness
  • night sweats
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • rash
  • trouble sleeping

Less common

  • Dry skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to brentuximab: intravenous powder for injection


Very common (10% or more): Rash (up to 31%), pruritus (up to 19%), alopecia (up to 14), night sweats (up to 12%), dry skin (up to 10%)

Rare (less than 0.1%): : Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) (including fatal outcomes), toxic epidermal necrolysis (including fatal outcomes)


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 42%), diarrhea (up to 36%), abdominal pain (up to 25%), vomiting (up to 22%), constipation (up to 19%)

Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis (including fatal outcomes)


Very common (10% or more): Neutropenia (any grade) (up to 78%), anemia (up to 52%), thrombocytopenia (up to 41%), lymphadenopathy (up to 11%)

Postmarketing reports: Febrile neutropenia


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic reaction


Very common (10% or more): Weight decreased (up to 19%), decreased appetite (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperglycemia


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (up to 19%), myalgia (up to 17%), back pain (up to 14%), pain in extremity (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Muscle spasms

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Peripheral sensory neuropathy (up to 56%), peripheral motor neuropathy (up to 23%), headache (up to 19%), dizziness (up to 16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Demyelinating polyneuropathy

Frequency not reported: Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy


Other side effects have included infusion related reactions (12%) including chills, nausea, dyspnea, pruritus, pyrexia and cough.


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 16%), anxiety (up to 11%)


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory infection (up to 47%), cough (up to 25%), dyspnea (up to 17%), oropharyngeal pain (up to 11%)

Postmarketing reports: Noninfectious pulmonary toxicity (including fatal outcomes)


Common (1% to 10%): Alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) increased

Postmarketing reports: Hepatotoxicity


Very common (10% or more): Infection

Common (1% to 10%): Sepsis/septic shock, pneumonia, herpes zoster

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Oral candidiasis, pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, staphylococcal bacteremia

Postmarketing reports: Serious opportunistic infections


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tumor lysis syndrome

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Adcetris