Bevacizumab (Injection)

Introduction

Bevacizumab (be-va-SIZ-yoo-mab)

Treats cancer.

Brand Name(s)

Avastin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bevacizumab.

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.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

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

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Use 2 forms of birth control to avoid getting pregnant while you are using this medicine. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 6 months after your treatment ends.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding. Also make sure your doctor knows if you have blood pressure problems, heart disease, or a history of heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you have bleeding problems or blood clots.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of bleeding problems. Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you start to notice any signs of bleeding, such as a nosebleed, coughing up blood, or black, tarry stools.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of blood clots or damage to your nervous system (reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome). Stop this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you develop chest pain, sudden and severe headache, seizure, unusual drowsiness, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain with constipation, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble swallowing, cough or choking, trouble breathing, or chest pain or discomfort. These could be symptoms of a hole in your digestive system.
  • This medicine may affect the way your body heals. Make sure any doctor who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop this medicine several weeks before and after surgery.
  • 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.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have a fever, chills, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, fainting, or chest pain within a few hours after you receive this medicine. You might be having an infusion reaction.
  • Talk with your doctor if you plan to have children. Some women are not able to get pregnant after they have used this medicine.
  • Your doctor will need to check your urine and blood pressure at regular visits while you are receiving 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
  • Bleeding from your rectum, or black, tarry stools
  • Chest pain or coughing up blood
  • Cloudy urine
  • Constipation, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Menstrual periods stop
  • Nosebleeds
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf)
  • Seizures, confusion, or unusual drowsiness
  • Slow healing
  • Sudden or severe headaches, or problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Swollen your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Trouble breathing, cold sweats, and bluish-colored skin
  • Trouble swallowing, or coughing or choking while eating
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

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

  • Back pain, mild headache
  • Diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pan, unusual taste
  • Dry skin, mild skin rash
  • Stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes
  • Tiredness or weakness

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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