Side Effects

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®

Gold compounds have been shown to cause tumors and cancer of the kidney when given to animals in large amounts for a long time. However, these effects have not been reported in humans receiving gold compounds for arthritis. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Irritation or soreness of tongue—less common with auranofin
  2. metallic taste—less common with auranofin
  3. redness, soreness, swelling, or bleeding of gums—rare with auranofin
  4. skin rash or itching
  5. ulcers, sores, or white spots on lips or in mouth or throat

Less common

  1. Bloody or cloudy urine
  2. hives


  1. Abdominal or stomach pain, cramping, or burning (severe)
  2. bloody or black, tarry stools
  3. confusion
  4. convulsions (seizures)
  5. coughing, hoarseness, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, tightness in chest, or wheezing
  6. dark urine
  7. decreased urination
  8. decreased vision
  9. difficulty in swallowing
  10. feeling of something in the eye
  11. fever
  12. hair loss
  13. hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there)
  14. irritation of nose, throat, or upper chest area, possibly with hoarseness or coughing
  15. irritation of vagina
  16. nausea, vomiting, or heartburn (severe and/or continuing)
  17. numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness, especially in the face, hands, arms, or feet
  18. pale stools
  19. painful or difficult urination
  20. pain in lower back, side, or lower abdomen (stomach) area
  21. pain, redness, itching, or tearing of eyes
  22. pinpoint red spots on skin
  23. problems with muscle coordination
  24. red, thickened, or scaly skin
  25. sore throat and fever with or without chills
  26. swelling of face, fingers, ankles, lower legs, or feet
  27. swellings (large) on face, eyelids, mouth, lips, and/or tongue
  28. swollen and/or painful glands
  29. unusual bleeding or bruising
  30. unusual tiredness or weakness
  31. vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  32. yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common with auranofin; rare with injections

  1. Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain (mild or moderate)
  2. bloated feeling, gas, or indigestion (mild or moderate)
  3. decrease or loss of appetite
  4. diarrhea or loose stools
  5. nausea or vomiting (mild or moderate)

Less common

  1. Constipation—with auranofin
  2. joint pain—with

Some patients receiving auranofin have noticed changes in the taste of certain foods. If you notice a metallic taste while receiving any gold compound, check with your doctor as soon as possible. If you notice any other taste changes while you are taking auranofin, it is not necessary to check with your doctor unless you find this effect especially bothersome.

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.