Agent Orange Symptoms and Effects

VA Disability

Information for veterans, their families and others about VA health care programs related to Agent Orange

Agent Orange Overview

Approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides were used in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 to remove unwanted plant life and leaves which otherwise provided cover for enemy forces during the Vietnam Conflict. Shortly following their military service in Vietnam, some veterans reported a variety of health problems and concerns which some of them attributed to exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides. The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a comprehensive program to respond to these medical problems and concerns. The principal elements of this program include quality health care services, disability compensation for veterans with service-connected illnesses, scientific research and outreach and education.

The following is a list of reported Agent Orange symptoms and effects:

1. Gastrointestinal:

  • loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • yellowing of eyes, skin, and urine (Jaundice)
  • liver inflammation (Hepatitis)
  • vomiting blood (Hematemesis)
  • abdominal pain
  • gastric hyperplasia
  • gastric ulcers

2. Genitourinary:

  • stones
  • burning
  • bloody urine (Hermaturia)
  • dribbling
  • brown urine
  • bladder discomfort
  • kidney pain

3. Neurological:

  • tingling
  • numbness
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • twitching, fidgeting, etc. (Automatic dyscontrol)
  • Suspension of breath (sleep apnea)
  • incoordination
  • unnaturally
  • drowsy (Hypersomnolence)
  • loss of sensation in extremities

4. Psychiatric:

  • violent
  • irritable
  • angry
  • severe depression
  • suicide
  • frenzied (Manic)
  • tremulous
  • memory loss
  • loss of concentration
  • severe personality changes

5. Metabolic:

  • fatigue
  • rapid weight loss
  • spontaneous fever
  • chills

6. Cardiovascular:

  • elevated blood pressure
  • blood deficiency

7. Skin:

  • chloracne
  • rash
  • increased sensitivity (heat)
  • increased sensitivity (sun)
  • altered skin color
  • loss of hair
  • brittle nails

8. Cancer:

  • tumors
  • liver
  • lung
  • testicular
  • ear duct

9. Family:

  • miscarriages child’s deaths—birth defects
    a. cleft palates b. open eye
    c. kidney abnormalities d. enlarged liver
    e. enlarged head f. club foot
    g. intestinal hemmorage h. missing or abnormal fingers, toes
    i. missing or abnormal reproductive organs
    j. missing, abnormal, or displaced body parts


  • enlarged male mammary glands (Gynecomastia)
  • excessive milk flow from nipples (Galactorrhea)
  • decreased sexual drive
  • difficulty maintaining and erection

11. Visual:

  • Watch the latest videos on YouTube.com
  • blurring
  • burning

12. Hearing Loss


  • difficulty or painful breath (Dyspenea)
  • shortness of breath

The most distinguishing effects of dioxin poisoning are:

a. chloracne
b. liver dysfunction
c. severe personality disorders
d. cancers
e. birth defects



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