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Bevacizumab (be vuh SIZ uh mab)

Brand Names: U.S.

Avastin

Brand Names: Canada

Avastin

Warning

  • Very bad and sometimes deadly holes in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract or fistulas have happened with this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems have happened with this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Do not take this drug if you have very bad bleeding or if you have thrown up recently.
  • This drug may affect how wounds heal. If you need to have surgery, you may need to stop this drug before surgery. Start taking it again after surgery as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat cancer.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to bevacizumab or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly brain problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has happened with this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Blood clots have happened with this drug. Sometimes, blood clots like heart attack and stroke have been deadly. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you have upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
  • This drug may cause high blood pressure.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have your urine checked. Talk with your doctor.
  • Some patients have very bad side effects during the infusion. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects during the infusion.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This drug may cause you to not be able to get pregnant. Talk with the doctor.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 6 months after stopping this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Seizures.
  • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • Loss of eyesight.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very hard stools (constipation).
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Skin wound that will not heal.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Sweating a lot.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Belly pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Not hungry.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Hair loss.
  • Dry skin.
  • Change in taste.
  • Weight loss.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Change in voice.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • It is given as a shot into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

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