What is this medication?
BEVACIZUMAB (be va SIZ yoo mab) treats some types of cancer. It works by blocking a protein that causes cancer cells to grow and multiply. This helps to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells. It is a monoclonal antibody.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Alymsys, Avastin, MVASI, Zirabev
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Blood clots
- Coughing up blood
- Having or recent surgery
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- History of a connection between 2 or more body parts that do not usually connect (fistula)
- History of a tear in your stomach or intestines
- Protein in your urine
- An unusual or allergic reaction to bevacizumab, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is injected into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.
Talk to your care team the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
Keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions are not expected.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication. You may need blood work while taking this medication.
This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.
This medication may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your care team if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Before having surgery, talk to your care team to make sure it is ok. This medication can increase the risk of poor healing of your surgical site or wound. You will need to stop this medication for 28 days before surgery. After surgery, wait at least 28 days before restarting this medication. Make sure the surgical site or wound is healed enough before restarting this medication. Talk to your care team if questions.
Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 6 months after the last dose. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 6 months after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 6 months after the last dose.
This medication can cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds, red or dark brown urine, small red or purple spots on skin, unusual bruising or bleeding
- Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Heart attack—pain or tightness in the chest, shoulders, arms, or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Increase in blood pressure
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
- Infusion reactions—chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
- Stomach pain that is severe, does not go away, or gets worse
- Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
- Sudden and severe headache, confusion, change in vision, seizures, which may be signs of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES)
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Back pain
- Change in taste
- Dry skin
- Increased tears
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Bevacizumab
When To Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
- Severe bleeding
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Swelling of the feet or ankles. Sudden weight gain.
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication).
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period).
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period).
- Constipation unrelieved by laxative use.
- Coughing up blood.
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools.
- Blood in the urine.
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers).
- Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other.
- Signs of infection such as redness or swelling, pain on swallowing, coughing up mucous, or painful urination.
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst, dry mouth, dark and decreased amount of urine, or dizziness.
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.