National Stroke Foundation

Ethyol (amifostine)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.

Approval Status:

Approved June 1999

Specific Treatments:


General Information

Ethyol has been approved to reduce xerostomia in patients undergoing post-operative radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, where the radiation port includes a substantial portion of the parotid glands. Xerostomia--a chronic dry mouth condition--is a severe and often irreversible side effect of radiation therapy caused by damage to the salivary glands.

Side Effects

Side effects of Ethyol plus radiation in a Phase III study included nausea and vomiting which were sometimes severe. Side effects also included hypotension, fever, allergic-type skin reactions, dizziness/lightheadedness, fatigue/lethargy, rigors/chills, sneezing, sleepiness/somnolence, and flushing.