What is Bevacizumab injection?
BEVACIZUMAB (Avastin™) is a monoclonal antibody. A monoclonal antibody is a protein that reacts with a specific site or protein of a cell. Bevacizumab targets a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This protein is found in many tumor cell types. Bevacizumab works by interfering with these tumor cells and preventing their spread to new sites. Bevacizumab may be used to treat many different types of cancer including colon cancer or kidney cancer. Bevacizumab is usually given with traditional chemotherapy agents. Generic bevacizumab injections are not available.
What should my health care professional know before I receive Bevacizumab?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- blood clots
- coughing up blood or blood in sputum
- heart disease, including heart failure, heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease
- prior chemotherapy with doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, or other anthracycline type chemotherapy agents
- prior radiation therapy to your chest
- recent surgery, especially if still healing at the site of surgery
- an unusual reaction to Bevacizumab, mouse proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should this medicine be used?
Bevacizumab is for infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic setting by a health care professional. You will continue a regular schedule of doses, usually every 14 days.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
It is important not to miss a dose. Notify your prescriber or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
What drug(s) may interact with Bevacizumab?
There have been no drug interactions reported during bevacizumab treatment.
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from receiving Bevacizumab?
The side effects you may experience depend on the dose of bevacizumab, other types of chemotherapy or radiation therapy given, and the health condition being treated. Not all of the listed side effects occur in every patients. Discuss any concerns or questions with your prescriber or health care professional.
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
- blood in stool
- increased urination
- mouth sores
- severe abdominal pain
- swelling of legs or ankles, increased shortness of breath
- symptoms of a stroke: change in mental awareness, inability to talk or move one side of the body (especially in patients with lung cancer)
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- abdominal pain
- decreased appetite
- decreased healing of sores
- nausea and/or vomiting
- nose bleeds, if severe or do not stop, contact your health care provider
- skin rash
What should I watch for while taking Bevacizumab?
During the infusion of bevacizumab, you may experience changes in your breathing, fever, chills, dizziness, or lightheadedness. If you start to experience any of these side effects, notify your health care professional right away.
During bevacizumab therapy your blood pressure will be monitored at least every 2-3 weeks. You may develop high blood pressure or your high blood pressure may worsen while receiving bevacizumab. Inform your health care provider if you currently have high blood pressure. Your health care provider may need to adjust your high blood pressure medication based on how you react; do not change your medication without talking to your health care provider.
Your health care provider will also check your urine regularly (perform a urinalysis) while you are receiving bevacizumab. If you begin to develop renal side effects, your health care provider may recommend a 24-hour Urine collection be done. You should drink plenty of fluids while receiving bevacizumab. This will help reduce kidney problems.
There is a possibility that bevacizumab could cause harm to an unborn child. If you are pregnant or considering getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider about the risks of bevacizumab therapy. Women who may have children should use appropriate birth control methods while receiving bevacizumab. Discuss possible methods of birth control with your health care provider.
Inform your health care provider if you have recently had surgery or if you have any wound that has not healed. Bevacizumab therapy should not be started until at least 28 days following major surgery and the site of the surgery should be totally healed. If you are going to have surgery or extensive dental work, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking or have received bevacizumab.
Where can I keep my medicine?
This does not apply. You will only receive this medication in your prescriber’s office or clinic.
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD
Drugs & Medications
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.