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Generic Name: amifostine (AM i FOS teen)
Brand Name: Ethyol
Physician reviewed Ethyol patient information - includes Ethyol description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
Ethyol is used to help lessen the side effects of certain cancer chemotherapy medications or radiation treatment. Ethyol is used to protect the kidneys from harmful effects caused by cisplatin when given to patients with ovarian cancer. Ethyol is also used to prevent severe dry mouth caused by radiation treatment of the head and neck, which can affect the salivary gland. Ethyol will not prevent all side effects of chemotherapy medications. However, Ethyol may help protect your body from some of the serious side effects that chemotherapy can cause. Learn more

Ethyol Side Effects

Ethyol Side Effects

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

In Summary

Common side effects of Ethyol include: nausea. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to amifostine: intravenous powder for solution

Along with its needed effects, amifostine (the active ingredient contained in Ethyol) 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 amifostine:

More common

  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when suddenly getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • fainting or loss of consciousness
  • fast or irregular breathing
  • itching
  • nausea, vomiting
  • red, scaly, swollen, or peeling areas of the skin
  • skin rash
  • sweating
  • swelling of the eyes or eyelids
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble with breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness


  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • burning or tingling sensation
  • chills
  • cough
  • cracks in the skin
  • diarrhea
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fever
  • joint or muscle pain
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of heat from the body
  • muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  • muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • no blood pressure or pulse
  • numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
  • palpitations
  • red irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • seizures
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • stomach cramps
  • stopping of the heart
  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • tremor

Incidence not known

  • Bloody urine
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • hives or welts
  • hoarseness
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • lower back or side pain
  • loss of appetite
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • slow or irregular breathing
  • swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
  • weight gain

Some side effects of amifostine 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:

Less common or rare

  • Feeling unusually warm or cold
  • flushing or redness of the face or neck
  • headache
  • hiccups
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • sleepiness (severe)
  • sneezing

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to amifostine: intravenous powder for injection


Very common (10% or more): Hypotension (62%)

Rare (less than 0.1%): Chest pain, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, exacerbation of preexisting hypertension, tachycardia, bradycardia

Frequency not reported: Flushing/feeling of warmth, arrhythmias (e.g., atrial fibrillation/flutter, supraventricular tachycardia) sometimes associated with hypotension or hypersensitivity


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (96%), vomiting

Frequency not reported: Hiccups, diarrhea


Frequency not reported: Chills/feeling of coldness, malaise, pyrexia, somnolence, rigors


Frequency not reported: Severe hypersensitivity


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Erythema multiforme, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systematic symptoms (DRESS), Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Toxicoderma, bullous dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis

Frequency not reported: Rash/erythema, pruritus, urticaria, inflammation, cutaneous eruptions

Nervous system

Rare (less than 0.1%): Seizures, syncope

Frequency not reported: Dizziness


Common (1% to 10%): Hypocalcemia


Frequency not reported: Injection site pain, injection site bruising, injection site

Swelling, phlebitis


Frequency not reported: Diplopia, blurred vision


Rare (less than 0.1%): Dyspnea, apnea, hypoxia, respiratory arrest, laryngeal edema

Frequency not reported: Sneezing, cough


Rare (less than 0.1%): Renal failure

Editorial References and Review

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

Source: Drugs.com Ethyol