If you’re looking at treatment options for a kind of cancer called acute myeloid leukemia (AML), your doctor might prescribe Idhifa for you. It’s a prescription medication that’s used in adults with certain types of AML.

Idhifa is a tablets that you swallow. Idhifa has an active ingredient. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

This article mainly focuses on Idhifa’s side effects. For more information about Idhifa, including dosages and how it’s used, see this in-depth article on the drug.

Idhifa can cause mild to serious side effects. Continue reading to learn more.

Idhifa can cause side effects. Idhifa has been reported to have some side effects.

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

The following sections contain more information about Idhifa’s side effects.

Some people may experience side effects during their treatment. Mild side effects have been reported with Idhifa.

“Some of the side effects are easily managed and should be temporary. If you have any symptoms that are bothering you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Unless your doctor recommends it, don’t stop using Idhifa.”

Idhifa may cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. See the Idhifa prescribing information for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Idhifa, visit MedWatch.

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

There are some serious side effects of Idhifa. There have been serious side effects reported with Idhifa.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Idhifa, call your doctor. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call the emergency number.

* Idhifa has a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
† To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
‡ An allergic reaction is possible after using Idhifa. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

Get answers to questions about Idhifa.

Is Idhifa treatment sometimes stopped due to side effects?

It is possible. If you have serious side effects such as differentiation syndrome, leukocytosis, or a large increase in your level of bilirubin, your doctor will likely stop your Idhifa treatment.

In studies, some people taking Idhifa stopped their treatment due to side effects. The most common side effect that led to permanently stopping Idhifa was leukocytosis. (This serious condition occurs when your white blood cell count rises.)

“After your serious side effects have been treated, you will be able to restart your treatment. Your doctor may lower your dose to make sure you don’t have any serious side effects. If your doctor discovers that you have serious side effects, he will likely stop you from taking Idhifa permanently. They can suggest other drugs that are better for you.”

If you have any symptoms of serious side effects, talk to your doctor. The side effects explained section gives more information on some of the serious side effects and symptoms to watch for.

Should I take another dose of Idhifa if I vomit shortly after taking the drug?

“Next day, take your dose as usual. If you don’t feel well enough to take another dose of Idhifa, you can wait until the next day.”

If you are unsure when to take another Idhifa dose, call your doctor or pharmacy.

Vomiting is a side effect of Idhifa. If you are vomiting frequently after taking a dose of Idhifa, you should talk to your doctor.

Does Idhifa cause long-term side effects?

It is not known if Idhifa causes long-term side effects. The drug can cause serious side effects that can cause long-term problems if not treated immediately. These serious side effects could be fatal in some cases.

There are some examples of serious side effects.

  • “When cancer cells release certain proteins into your blood, it’s called differentiation syndrome.”
  • Red blood cells break down and produce high levels of bilirubin.
  • Tumor lysis syndrome is caused by dying cancer cells releasing their contents into your body.

“If you are concerned about the risks of Idhifa, you should talk to your doctor. The side effects section below contains more information on some of Idhifa’s serious side effects.”

Does Idhifa affect fertility?

It is not known if fertility problems caused by Idhifa are reversed after you stop using the drug.

Before starting treatment, talk to your doctor about any questions you have about fertility.

* In this article, we use the terms “male” and “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

There are some side effects Idhifa may cause.

Differentiation syndrome (DS)

Idhifa has a warning. The FDA has the most serious warnings.

DS is a condition when leukemia cells release certain proteins into your blood. The symptoms of DS are caused by a reaction in your body. These symptoms may include some.

DS typically occurs from 1 day up to 5 months after your first dose of Idhifa. This is a serious common side effect that can lead to severe problems, such as acute (sudden) kidney failure. DS can be fatal if not treated quickly. If you’re concerned about your risk of DS from Idhifa, talk with your doctor.

What might help

While taking Idhifa, tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of DS. During your treatment, you may also have certain lab tests done to check for any problems that could occur with DS. For example, you may have kidney function tests done to check for acute kidney failure.

If you develop DS, your doctor will treat it with a corticosteroid drug such as dexamethasone. You may need to stay in a hospital, depending on how severe your condition is. When your symptoms have been relieved to a certain degree, you may be able to restart your Idhifa treatment.

If you have concerns about developing differentiation syndrome while taking Idhifa, talk to your doctor.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting can occur during Idhifa treatment. In studies, digestive side effects (such as nausea vomiting, and There is a lot of There is a lot of There is a lot of diarrhea…) were the most commonly reported side effects in people taking Idhifa.

What might help

If you experience Nausea and vomiting. while taking Idhifa, talk with your doctor. To ease your symptoms and prevent dehydration, they may recommend you slowly sip certain liquids and eat non-greasy, low-sugar meals. Eating small meals and drinking liquids such as peppermint tea, ginger drinks, and water may help your Nausea and vomiting..

If you get nausea or vomiting that becomes too much, talk to your doctor.

Leukocytosis

Leukocytosis is a possible side effect of Idhifa. This serious condition occurs when your white blood cell count rises. This happens because of the way Idhifa works to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Leukocytosis may not cause symptoms. For this reason, your doctor will order blood tests to check for this side effect. You’ll also have your white blood cell count tested before you start taking Idhifa to compare with your later tests.

What might help

Blood tests will be done during your Idhifa treatment to check for leukocytosis, which is not a cause of symptoms.

If you develop leukocytosis while taking Idhifa, you may need to take hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea, Siklos) to help lower your white blood cell count. Your doctor may have you stop taking Idhifa temporarily if hydroxyurea doesn’t lower your levels enough.

Your doctor may restart your Idhifa treatment at the same dose you took before if your white blood cell count returns to normal.

Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)

TLS can occur with Idhifa use. See Idhifa’s prescribing information for how often this side effect occurred in people taking the drug.

With TLS, a large number of tumor cells quickly die and release their contents into the blood as they break apart. This can lead to high blood levels of uric acid and certain electrolytes, such as potassium, phosphate, and calcium. And if left untreated, TLS could damage organs such as the heart, kidney, and liver.

Symptoms of the disease may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, or There is a lot of There is a lot of There is a lot of diarrhea…
  • The amount of urine is lower than normal.
  • There are muscle pains, spasms, or weakness.
  • It is a problem of tiredness.
  • feeling irritable or restless
  • Or numbness.

What might help

While you’re taking Idhifa, tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of TLS. Your doctor will likely stop your Idhifa treatment if you develop this condition. You may need to receive treatment in a hospital, where you’ll be given intravenous (IV) fluids or other medications. Once your TLS has been treated, you may be able to restart your Idhifa treatment at a lower dose.

You will have blood tests done to make sure you have the right levels of uric acid and electrolytes. You will have them checked every 2 weeks for the first 3 months of your treatment. Your doctor can watch for signs of the disease.

You should drink a lot of liquids during your treatment. Staying hydrated can help reduce your risk of TLS.

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your risk of tumorslysis syndrome.

High levels of bilirubin

Taking Idhifa can cause increased levels of bilirubin. This was a common side effect of Idhifa seen in studies of the drug.

“Red blood cells break down and produce bilirubin. There is a problem with your liver if you have high levels. Red blood cells are being destroyed more quickly than usual. Most people taking Idhifa who have high levels of bilirubin don’t show signs of problems with the liver.”

What might help

You will have blood tests done on a regular basis to check for high levels of bilirubin.

Your doctor may reduce your Idhifa dose if your test results show you have too much of the drug. If your levels of bilirubin are high, they may have you stop taking Idhifa.

The main symptom of high levels of bilirubin is jaundice, which is yellowing of your skin or eyes. If you have jaundice, your doctor may order a blood test to see if your level of the bileduct has gone up. They can adjust your Idhifa dose depending on your level of bilirubin.

Talk to your doctor if you want to learn more about your risk of high levels of bilirubin.

Allergic reaction

Idhifa can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The side effect was not reported in studies.

Mild to serious symptoms can be present.

  • There is a skin rash.
  • It is itchy.
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • “It’s usually under your skin, but it can be anywhere.”
  • It can be hard to breathe if you have swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat.

What might help

If you have a mild rash, call your doctor. They may suggest a treatment to help you. Examples include:

  • an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • A product that is applied to the skin.

If your doctor confirms you have an allergic reaction to Idhifa, they will decide if you should continue using it.

If you have a severe allergic reaction, you should call the emergency number. These symptoms could be life threatening and need immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you have had a serious allergic reaction to Idhifa, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

Take notes on any side effects you are having during your Idhifa treatment. You can share this information with your doctor. This is helpful when you are starting to use a combination of treatments.

Side effect notes can include things.

  • When you had the side effect, what dose of the drug was taking?
  • How soon did you experience the side effect?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How did it affect your daily activities?
  • What other drugs were you taking?
  • Other information is important to you.

Sharing notes with your doctor will help them understand how Idhifa affects you. If needed, they can use this information to adjust your treatment plan.

Idhifa has some serious warnings. Discuss your health history with your doctor before you start taking Idhifa.

Boxed warning: Risk of differentiation syndrome

Idhifa has a boxed warning for the risk of differentiation syndrome. This condition happens when cancer cells release certain proteins into your blood. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To learn more about this warning, see the “Side effects explained” section above.

Other warnings

If you have a medical condition that affects your health, Idhifa may not be right for you. Before starting Idhifa, you should talk to your doctor about your health history. Factors to consider

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Idhifa or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Idhifa. Allergic reaction wasn’t reported in studies, but it can happen. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.

Alcohol use and Idhifa

It should be safe to drink alcohol while taking Idhifa. But alcohol may make certain side effects of the drug worse. These include nausea, vomiting, and There is a lot of There is a lot of There is a lot of diarrhea….

If you drink alcohol, you should talk to your doctor about the amount that is safe for you to drink.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Idhifa

Idhifa is not a good choice during a pregnant period. The drug could cause harm to a fetus.

If you are able to become pregnant, you will have to take a pregnancy test. Birth control is required for at least 2 months after your last dose of Idhifa. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should talk to your doctor.

It is not known if it is safe to take Idhifa while breastfeeding. Taking the drug while breastfeeding could cause side effects. Your doctor will recommend that you do not breastfeeding during your Idhifa treatment and for up to 2 months after your last dose, due to the risk. Talk to your doctor about your options if you are planning to breastfeeding.

Idhifa has side effects. Mild side effects are usually temporary or go away over time. Ask your doctor questions about possible side effects of Idhifa treatment. The questions below are to help start the conversation.

  • Idhifa with food will affect my side effects.
  • Idhifa could make my side effects worse.
  • “Does the risk for Idhifa’s side effects increase with age?”
  • Does having other health conditions raise my risk of side effects from Idhifa?

Q:

Does Idhifa have different side effects than chemotherapy drugs?

Anonymous

A:

Yes, different types of cancer treatments can cause different side effects.

Idhifa is a kind of targeted cancer therapy. This means that it works by targeting certain parts of cancer cells to stop them from growing. Targeted therapies are less likely than chemotherapy drugs to damage healthy cells, which also means they can cause fewer side effects.

There are some common side effects of Idhifa.

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • There is a lot of There is a lot of There is a lot of diarrhea…
  • decreased appetite
  • The level of bilirubin has increased.

There are some common side effects of drugs.

  • hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • It was easier than usual.
  • weakened immune system

Talk to your doctor about the differences between targeted cancer therapy and the other therapies.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.