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Generic Name: valrubicin (val ROO bi sin)
Brand Name: Valstar
Physician reviewed Valstar patient information - includes Valstar description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
Valstar is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Valstar is used to treat bladder cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body. Valstar is usually given after BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin) has been tried without success. Valstar may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. You should not use Valstar if you have a urinary tract infection, bladder perforation (a hole or tear), overactive bladder, incontinence, or trouble holding in urine. Learn more

Valstar Side Effects

Valstar Side Effects

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

In Summary

Common side effects of Valstar include: cystitis, bladder pain, bladder spasm, dysuria, hematuria, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, and urinary urgency. Other side effects include: nocturia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to valrubicin: intravesical solution

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

Some side effects of valrubicin 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

  • Blood in urine
  • loss of bladder control
  • painful or difficult urination
  • red color in urine
  • strong urge to urinate
  • unusually frequent urination

Less common

  • Increased urination at night
  • local burning sensation


  • Frequent urge to defecate
  • itching
  • loss of sense of taste

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to valrubicin: irrigation solution


Local adverse reactions associated with valrubicin (the active ingredient contained in Valstar) usually occurred during or shortly after instillate and resolve within one to seven days after the instillation is removed from the bladder.

Very common (10% or more): Any local bladder symptom (88%)

Common (1% to 10%): Procedure related local burning symptoms


Very common (10% or more): Urinary frequency (61%), urinary urgency (57%), dysuria (56%), bladder spasm (31%), hematuria (29%), bladder pain (28%), urinary incontinence (22%), urinary tract infection (15%), cystitis (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nocturia, urinary retention, microscopic hematuria, urethral pain, pelvic pain, gross hematuria

Frequency not reported: Poor urine flow, urethritis


The most common side effects were local bladder symptoms, including urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and dysuria.


Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence

Frequency not reported: Tenesmus

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness

Frequency not reported: Taste loss


Common (1% to 10%): Rash

Frequency not reported: Pruritus, local skin irritation


Common (1% to 10%): Vasodilation


Common (1% to 10%): Anemia


Common (1% to 10%): Hyperglycemia, peripheral edema

Frequency not reported: Nonprotein nitrogen increased


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, myalgia


Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, malaise, chest pain, fever

Editorial References and Review

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

Source: Drugs.com Valstar