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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

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

The side effects from chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) can be serious, but they usually go away when the treatment ends. Here are some of the more common temporary side effects:

  • Hair loss

  • Infections from low white blood cell counts

  • Mouth sores

  • Easy bruising or bleeding from low blood platelets

  • Fatigue from low red blood cell counts

  • Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting

  • Conjunctivitis (inflammation of a membrane in the eye)

Organ damage is one of the more serious potential long-term risks of AML chemotherapy. Depending on the drugs used, this can include damage to the kidneys, liver, testicles, ovaries, brain, heart, or lungs. Doctors and nurses monitor treatment closely to try to reduce the risk of these side effects as much as possible.