Nplate (romiplostim) is a brand-name subcutaneous injection. It’s prescribed for low platelet levels in adults and certain children. As with other drugs, Nplate can cause side effects. These include dizziness and insomnia.
Nplate can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Nplate in clinical trials:
Mild side effects can occur with Nplate use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Nplate’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects that have been reported with Nplate include:
- pain in your mouth, throat, arms, shoulders, abdomen, legs, joints, or muscles
- digestive problems, such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- burning, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
- upper or lower respiratory infection*
- mild allergic reaction†
These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Nplate and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after receiving Nplate. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Nplate may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Nplate’s prescribing information.
If you develop serious side effects while taking Nplate, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:
- Scarring or hardening of the tissue inside your bone marrow. Symptoms can include:
- bruising or bleeding more easily than usual
- High platelet levels, which may lead to blood clots. Symptoms vary depending on where the blood clot occurs but can include:
- swelling, pain, or warmth in the affected area
- vision problems
- difficulty speaking
- Severe allergic reaction.*
* An allergic reaction is possible after receiving Nplate. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Nplate is approved to treat low platelet levels in certain children ages 1 year and older.
Many of Nplate’s side effects in children are the same as in adults. However, certain side effects may be more common in children than adults. These include upper respiratory infection and pain in the mouth or throat.
To learn more about Nplate’s side effects in children, talk with your child’s doctor or pharmacist.
Nplate may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.
How long do side effects of Nplate usually last?
How long Nplate’s side effects last will vary from person to person. In general, most side effects are expected to be temporary. They should last only a few days or weeks after starting or stopping Nplate treatment.
That said, Nplate may also cause side effects that lead to long-term complications. For details, see “Can Nplate cause long-term side effects?” below.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about how long Nplate’s side effects could last.
Can Nplate cause long-term side effects?
Yes, it’s possible. Although it isn’t common, you may develop certain long-term side effects from Nplate. These typically start during Nplate treatment and can continue after treatment ends.
If you have questions about the long-term side effects of Nplate, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Nplate may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Nplate.
What you can do
If you have a bothersome or worsening cough during treatment, talk with your doctor. They can help determine whether Nplate or another factor may be causing it.
Upper and lower respiratory infection
Symptoms of an upper or lower respiratory infection may include:
What you can do
If you have symptoms of infection during Nplate treatment, tell your doctor. They can run tests to check for infection and recommend treatments if necessary. Often, these infections clear on their own, but your doctor may suggest treatments for bothersome symptoms if appropriate.
Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:
- skin rash
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What you can do
For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Nplate. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Nplate. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These are considered drug-condition or drug-factor interactions. The conditions and factors to consider include:
Myelodysplastic syndrome. Before starting Nplate treatment, tell your doctor if you have a blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Nplate injections could increase the risk of existing MDS progressing into another type of blood cancer. For this reason, your doctor typically won’t prescribe Nplate if you have MDS. However, they can recommend other treatment options for your condition.
Chronic liver disease. Before receiving Nplate, tell your doctor if you have chronic liver disease. Nplate injections could cause high platelet levels, which may lead to blood clots. You may have a higher risk of certain blood clots if you have chronic liver disease. Your doctor can recommend whether Nplate is a safe treatment option for you.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding your child, Nplate may not be safe for you to receive. It isn’t known what effects the drug may have on a person or developing fetus during pregnancy. It also isn’t known whether Nplate can pass into breast milk. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about whether Nplate is safe for you.
Alcohol consumption. If you drink alcohol, Nplate may not be safe for you. Nplate and alcohol can cause similar side effects, including dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. As a result, drinking alcohol during Nplate treatment may worsen these side effects.
In addition, heavy alcohol consumption can increase your risk of low platelet levels. (Nplate is prescribed to treat low platelet levels in certain situations.) So, drinking alcohol may make it harder to tell if the drug is working for your condition.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Nplate or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Nplate. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.
Nplate may cause mild and serious side effects. If you have long lasting or bothersome side effects during Nplate treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you’d like to learn more about Nplate, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.
Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:
- More information about Nplate. For details about other aspects of Nplate, refer to this article.
- Cost. If you’d like to learn about Nplate and cost, see this article.
- Drug comparison. To learn how Nplate compares with Promacta, read this article.
- Dosage. For information about the dosage of Nplate, view this article.
- A look at your condition. Learn more about immune thrombocytopenia and see our list of blood and hematology articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.