What is this medication?
ZIV-AFLIBERCEPT (ziv a FLIB er sept) treats colorectal cancer. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): ZALTRAP
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Bleeding disorders
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- History of stomach bleeding
- History of stroke
- Infection, such as chickenpox, cold sores, herpes
- Kidney disease
- Low blood counts, such as low white cells, platelets, or red cell counts
- Recent surgery
- An unusual or allergic reaction to ziv-aflibercept, 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 about 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.
If you get black, tarry stools or vomit up what looks like coffee grounds, call your care team right away. You may have a bleeding ulcer.
This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your care team for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
Call your care team if you are around anyone with measles, chickenpox, or if you develop sores or blisters that do not heal properly.
This medication may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your care team if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing or flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medication.
Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 1 month after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 1 month after the last dose.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 1 month after the last dose.
This medication may 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
- Chest pain (angina)—pain, pressure, or tightness in the chest, neck, back, or arms
- Dehydration—increased thirst, dry mouth, feeling faint or lightheaded, headache, dark yellow or brown urine
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
- Increase in blood pressure
- Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
- Severe or prolonged diarrhea
- 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):
- Loss of appetite
- Pain, redness, or swelling with sores inside the mouth or throat
- Stomach pain
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 Ziv-aflibercept
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- Monitor your blood pressure and notify your physician if blood pressure is elevated or if you develop severe headache, light headedness or other neurological symptoms (numbness, tingling, difficulty speaking).
- To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
- Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see managing side effects - diarrhea).
- Prevention of hand-foot syndrome. Modification of normal activities of daily living to reduce friction and heat exposure to hands and feet, for about a week after treatment.
- Keep palms of hands and soles of feet moist using emollients.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sun block and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition .
- Maintain physical activity as tolerated.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Seek emergency help immediately and notify your health care provider, if you experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pain, shortness of breath
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.5º F (38º C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
- Unusual bleeding
- Severe headache, light headedness or other neurological symptoms (numbness, tingling, difficulty speaking, Change in thinking clearly and with logic).
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:
- 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)
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
- Blood in the urine
- Yellowing of skin or eyes
- Pain or burning with urination
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.