What to Expect After ATRA for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

You may have side effects from the chemotherapy drugs you take when also getting ATRA. You could also experience retinoic acid syndrome. Within the first three weeks of treatment, this potentially fatal syndrome causes these symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Chest pain

  • Breathing problems due to backup of fluid in the lungs

  • Low blood pressure

  • Kidney damage

  • Severe fluid retention

If you develop symptoms of retinoic acid syndrome, your doctor may prescribe steroids or have you stop ATRA treatment for a few days.

These are other possible side effects of ATRA. Discuss how best to manage them with your doctor or nurse.

  • Bleeding

  • Headache

  • Drowsiness

  • Dry skin, dry mouth, or cracking at the corners of the mouth

  • Bone pain

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