What is this medicine?
BEVACIZUMAB (be va SIZ yoo mab) is a chemotherapy drug. It targets a protein found in many cancer cell types, and halts cancer growth. This drug treats many cancers including non-small cell lung cancer, colon or rectal cancer, and breast cancer. It is usually given with other chemotherapy drugs.
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, nosebleeds
changes in vision
severe abdominal pain
sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg
swelling of legs or ankles
symptoms of a stroke: change in mental awareness, inability to talk or move one side of the body (especially in patients with lung cancer)
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
trouble speaking or understanding
trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
What may interact with this medicine?
Interactions are not expected.
What if I miss a dose?
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
Where should I keep my medicine?
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
heart disease, including heart failure, heart attack, or chest pain (angina)
high blood pressure
infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
prior chemotherapy with doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, or other anthracycline type chemotherapy agents
recent or ongoing radiation therapy
an unusual or allergic reaction to bevacizumab, hamster proteins, mouse proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work and urine testing done while you are taking this medicine.
During your treatment, let your health care professional know if you have any unusual symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.
This medicine may rarely cause 'gastrointestinal perforation' (holes in the stomach, intestines or colon), a serious side effect requiring surgery to repair.
This medicine should be started at least 28 days following major surgery and the site of the surgery should be totally healed. Check with your doctor before scheduling dental work or surgery while you are receiving this treatment. Talk to your doctor if you have recently had surgery or if you have a wound that has not healed.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.