USES: Bleomycin is used to treat cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.This medication may also be used to control the build-up of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion) caused by tumors that have spread to the lungs. For this condition, bleomycin is placed in the space around the lungs through a chest tube.
HOW TO USE: This medication is given by injection into a vein, into a muscle, or under the skin by a health care professional usually once or twice a week or as directed by your doctor. When giving this medication into a vein, it is injected slowly over 10 minutes. Tell your health care professional immediately if you experience any chest pain. The medication may need to be stopped or injected more slowly. The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.If you are receiving this medication through a chest tube into the space around the lungs, the solution is usually left in place for 4 hours and then drained out through the chest tube. Your doctor may direct you to change positions during the 4 hours to make sure the solution treats all parts of your lungs.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Pain/redness at the injection site, fever, chills, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, darkening of the skin, or changes in fingernails/toenails may occur. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. In some cases, drug treatment may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, 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. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.Painful sores on the lips, mouth, and throat may occur. To decrease the risk, limit hot foods and drinks, brush your teeth carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water.Bleomycin can commonly cause skin reactions (e.g., redness, itching, blisters, rash, swelling), usually in the second or third week of treatment. These reactions are not always serious. However, you may not be able to tell them apart from signs of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor immediately if you develop any skin reaction.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dizziness/fainting, fast/pounding heartbeat, numbness/tingling, feeling of coldness in hands/feet, easy bruising/bleeding, pale/bluish skin, coughing up blood, vomit that looks bloody or like coffee grounds, signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat), change in the amount of urine, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, aggression), persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, pink/dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: weakness on one side of the body, vision changes, slurred speech, chest pain.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: confusion, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, 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.
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