This medication is a man-made antibody (IgG1) used to treat various types of cancer. This drug works by blocking a certain protein (vascular endothelial growth factor-VEGF) thereby decreasing the blood supply to the tumor and slowing tumor growth.This monograph is about the following bevacizumab products: bevacizumab, bevacizumab-awwb, bevacizumab-bvzr, and bevacizumab-maly.
How to use Bevacizumab Solution
This medication is given by infusion into a vein by a health care professional. The first dose is usually given over 90 minutes. If you tolerate the first dose well, then later infusions may be given over a shorter time (60 or 30 minutes).
Infusion reactions may happen while you are receiving this medication. Tell your health care professional right away if you have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, flushing, severe dizziness, nausea/vomiting, shaking, or chest pain. Your health care professional will monitor you closely during your infusion. Your infusion may be slowed down or stopped depending on your symptoms.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Try not to miss any doses.
Dry mouth, cough, voice changes, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, mouth sores, nausea, or headache may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist right away.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast heartbeat, symptoms of heart failure (such as swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever), muscle cramps, muscle loss, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, difficulty urinating, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, frothy urine).
Bevacizumab may rarely cause blood clots (such as pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you have a history of blood clots, heart/blood vessel disease, or if you are immobile (such as on very long plane flights or being bedridden). If you use estrogen-containing products, these may also increase your risk. Before using this medication, if you have any of these conditions report them to your doctor or pharmacist. Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: shortness of breath/rapid breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in groin/calf, sudden/severe headaches, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes.
This medication can also cause serious (possibly fatal) bleeding, such as bleeding from the stomach/intestines or in the brain. You should not receive this medication if you have any serious bleeding problems. In addition, this medication can rarely cause a tear in the stomach/intestines (gastrointestinal perforation). Get medical help right away if you have any signs of these serious side effects, including stomach/abdominal pain that is severe or doesn't go away, bloody or black/tarry stools, constipation with vomiting, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, dizziness/fainting, unusual tiredness/weakness, severe headache, sudden/severe back pain, fever.
This medication may also cause wounds to heal slowly or poorly or cause the wounds to break open. It can also rarely cause very serious (possibly fatal) skin and tissue infections that spread quickly. Get medical help right away if you have wounds that are not healing well, a fever, severe pain/redness/heat/swelling at the surgery site or other areas on the skin, fluid-filled blisters in the skin, discolored/scaling/peeling skin, confusion, dizziness, or fainting. You should not receive this medication for at least 4 weeks before and after a major surgery and until the wound from the surgery is fully healed.
Rarely, bevacizumab may cause a condition called PRES (posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome). Get medical help right away if you develop headache that doesn't go away, seizures, sudden vision changes, mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Side Effects section.
Before using bevacizumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any bevacizumab products; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: stomach/intestinal ulcers, bleeding problems (such as recent bloody vomiting or coughing up blood), recent major surgery, recent injuries/wounds, high blood pressure, blood vessel problems (such as an aneurysm or a tear/break in the aorta or other blood vessels), kidney disease, diabetes.
Bevacizumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Tell your health care professional that you are using bevacizumab before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
This medication can affect fertility in females. Ask your doctor for more details.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Women of childbearing age should use reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 6 months after stopping treatment. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
This medication may pass into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this medication and for 6 months after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is: sunitinib.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe headache.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.