bevacizumab - injection, Avastin (cont.)
USES: This medication is a man-made antibody (IgG1) used to treat kidney, colon, and rectal cancer. Bevacizumab is also used to treat lung cancer (non-small cell type) and certain types of brain tumors. This drug works by blocking a certain protein (vascular endothelial growth factor-VEGF) thereby decreasing the blood supply to the tumor and slowing tumor growth.OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This medication may also be used to treat a certain serious eye condition (age-related macular degeneration).
HOW TO USE: This medication is given by infusion into a vein by a health care professional. The first dose is usually given over 90 minutes. If you tolerate the first dose well, then later infusions may be given over a shorter time (60 or 30 minutes).The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to previous therapy, and your weight. Tell your doctor if your weight changes.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Try not to miss any doses.
SIDE EFFECTS: Dry mouth, cough, voice changes, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, mouth sores, nausea, headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist immediately.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: trouble breathing, swelling of ankles/feet, sudden weight gain, unusual tiredness, fast heartbeat, fainting, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), difficulty urinating, calf pain/swelling, muscle cramps, severe stomach/abdominal pain, frothy/dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, muscle loss, decreased amount of urine.Symptoms of a severe infusion reaction that may occur during bevacizumab treatment include difficulty breathing, flushing, severe dizziness, nausea/vomiting, shaking, or chest pain. Tell your healthcare professional if you have any of these symptoms during your treatment. Your doctor will monitor you closely and will temporarily stop your treatment if a reaction occurs.Bevacizumab infrequently may cause blood clots to form, leading to serious medical conditions (heart attack/angina, stroke/TIA). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop chest pain/tightness, sudden vision changes, weakness on one side of the body, confusion, or slurred speech. If any of these conditions occur, you should not be given this medication again.This medication can cause bleeding. Some episodes may be minor including nosebleeds, minor gum bleeding, and vaginal bleeding. If these persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Other episodes may be more serious including stomach bleeding or bleeding in the lungs (see also Warning section).This medication may cause high blood pressure. This reaction can be severe enough to require blood pressure treatment. Learn to check your blood pressure regularly and share the results with your doctor.Rarely, bevacizumab may cause a condition called RPLS (reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome). Get medical help right away if you develop persistent headache, seizures, sudden vision changes, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion).This medication may affect the ovaries, possibly reducing fertility and causing hormone changes. Talk to your doctor for more details.A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, severe trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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