Common side effects:
- pain/redness at the injection site
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- darkening of the skin
- changes in fingernails/toenails
- temporary hair loss
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Painful sores on the lips, mouth, and throat may occur. To decrease the risk, limit hot foods and drinks, brush your teeth carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water.
Bleomycin can commonly cause skin reactions (e.g., redness, itching, blisters, rash, swelling), usually in the second or third week of treatment. These reactions are not always serious. However, you may not be able to tell them apart from signs of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor immediately if you develop any skin reaction.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dizziness/fainting, fast/pounding heartbeat, numbness/tingling, feeling of coldness in hands/feet, easy bruising/bleeding, pale/bluish skin, coughing up blood, vomit that looks bloody or like coffee grounds, signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat), change in the amount of urine, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, aggression), persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, pink/dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: weakness on one side of the body, vision changes, slurred speech, chest pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: confusion, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.