Aflibercept (Injection)

Introduction

Aflibercept (a-FLIB-er-sept)

Treats cancer of the colon or rectum.

Brand Name(s)

Zaltrap

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not be given this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to aflibercept.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is usually given once every 2 weeks.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Use an effective form of birth control the entire time you are being treated with this medicine and for at least 3 months after your last dose. This is important for both men and women. This medicine might harm an unborn baby.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have bleeding problems, high blood pressure, kidney disease, or digestion problems.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain; trouble breathing, walking, or talking; or sudden headache or weakness. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of blood clot problems, heart attack, or stroke.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine could slow down wound healing. If you need to have surgery, you may need to stop using this medicine several weeks beforehand.
  • This medicine could cause high blood pressure. You might need to monitor your blood pressure at home or go to the doctor's office to have it checked. Call your doctor if you notice any changes to your normal blood pressure or if you have an unusual headache or lightheaded feeling.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Black, tarry stools, red or dark brown urine, vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or coughing up blood
  • Cloudy or foamy urine, unusual swelling
  • Cuts or wounds that do not heal
  • Extreme thirst
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf), problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Seizures, confusion, blurred vision
  • Severe diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Severe or sudden headache
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild tiredness
  • Mild diarrhea

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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