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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Possible Side Effects

Short-term side effects, often resulting from the chemotherapy, radiation or medications, include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin reactions
  • Fatigue

Potentially serious complications, elated primarily to low blood counts, including:

  • Infections
  • Bleeding

You and the staff will carefully monitor for signs of all types of infection and bleeding. There are many treatments available that can help with these complications, but they are most effective if the complication is caught early.

  • Organ complications, including problems developing in the following organ systems caused by chemotherapy, radiation, or medications:
  • Liver, including veno-occlusive disease (VOD), hepatitis, and infections
  • Kidneys, including kidney failure
  • Lungs, including inflammation and congestion
  • Heart, including reduced pumping ability

As with other complications, the staff will help you be alert for signs of these organ complications so treatment may begin as soon as possible.

  • Graft versus host disease (GVHD), is a potentially serious side effect of allogeneic transplant. In GVHD, the donor stem cells recognize that the recipient cells (your cells) are different and attack them. GVHD may be acute or chronic, and may affect the skin, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. Drugs are given to reduce the likelihood of GVHD and to treat it if it does occur.
Last UpdateFebruary 8, 2011