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Drugs reference index «bevacizumab Intravenous»

bevacizumab Intravenous

bevacizumab (Intravenous route)


Intravenous routeSolution
  • Gastrointestinal Perforations
    • The incidence of gastrointestinal perforation, some fatal, in bevacizumab-treated patients ranges from 0.3 to 2.4%. Discontinue bevacizumab in patients with gastrointestinal perforation.
  • Surgery and Wound Healing Complications
    • The incidence of wound healing and surgical complications, including serious and fatal complications, is increased in bevacizumab-treated patients. Discontinue bevacizumab in patients with wound dehiscence. The appropriate interval between termination of bevacizumab and subsequent elective surgery required to reduce the risks of impaired wound healing/wound dehiscence has not been determined. Discontinue at least 28 days prior to elective surgery. Do not initiate bevacizumab for at least 28 days after surgery and until the surgical wound is fully healed.
  • Hemorrhage
    • Severe or fatal hemorrhage, including hemoptysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, central nervous systems (CNS) hemorrhage, epistaxis, and vaginal bleeding occurred up to five-fold more frequently in patients receiving bevacizumab. Do not administer bevacizumab to patients with serious hemorrhage or recent hemoptysis .

Gastrointestinal perforation, some cases fatal, has occurred in up to 2.4% of bevacizumab-treated patients. Discontinue bevacizumab if gastrointestinal perforation or wound dehiscence occurs. Discontinue at least 28 days prior to elective surgery. Do not initiate bevacizumab for at least 28 days after surgery and until the surgical wound is fully healed. Severe or fatal hemorrhage including hemoptysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, CNS hemorrhage, and vaginal bleeding have occurred up to 5-fold more frequently in bevacizumab-treated patients. Do not administer bevacizumab to patients with serious hemorrhage or recent hemoptysis .

Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Avastin

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Immunological Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody

Uses For bevacizumab

Bevacizumab is given with other medicines to treat patients with metastatic (a cancer that has spread) carcinoma of the colon or rectum. bevacizumab is also used to treat a certain type of metastatic lung cancer called non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer, and a certain type of brain tumor called glioblastoma.

Bevacizumab is a substance that helps the body fight cancer. It prevents the growth of certain types of blood vessels to cancer cells. This helps to decrease the growth of cancer cells by starving the cells of nutrients that are needed to grow.

Bevacizumab is also used in combination with paclitaxel (Taxol®) to treat a certain type of breast cancer called metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer. bevacizumab should not be used to treat breast cancer that is worse after receiving other cancer medicines, such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin®, Rubex®) or docetaxel (Taxotere®).

Bevacizumab is also used in combination with other medicines (e.g., interferon alfa) to treat patients with cancer of the kidney that has spread to other areas of the body.

Bevacizumab is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, bevacizumab is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Glioblastoma multiforme, recurrent, following prior treatment with temozolomide (used for a certain type of brain cancer that is getting worse or not responding to treatment).
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer, first-line therapy, in combination with capecitabine and oxaliplatin (used together with other medicines for cancer of the colon or rectum that has spread to other areas of the body).

Before Using bevacizumab

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For bevacizumab, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to bevacizumab or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of bevacizumab in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of bevacizumab in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related heart or blood vessel problems, which may require caution in patients receiving bevacizumab.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of bevacizumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Angina or
  • Bleeding problems or
  • Blood clots or
  • Esophagus problems or
  • Heart attack, history of or
  • Heart failure or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Intestinal problems or
  • Kidney problems or
  • Liver problems or
  • Protein in the urine or
  • Stomach problems or
  • Stroke, history of or
  • Wound healing problems—May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of bevacizumab

You will receive bevacizumab while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you bevacizumab. bevacizumab is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Bevacizumab is often given together with other cancer medicines. If you are using a combination of medicines, make sure that you take each one at the proper time and do not mix them. Ask your doctor to help you plan a way to remember to take your medicines at the right times.

Precautions While Using bevacizumab

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that bevacizumab is working properly and to check for unwanted effects. Your doctor will need to check your urine and blood pressure at regular visits while you are receiving bevacizumab. Be sure to keep all appointments. You may be taught how to check your blood pressure at home.

Using bevacizumab while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use two forms of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. Keep using two forms of birth control for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

bevacizumab may affect the way your body heals from cuts and wounds. Make sure any doctor who treats you knows that you are using bevacizumab. You may need to stop using bevacizumab several weeks before and after having surgery.

bevacizumab may increase your chance of having bleeding problems. Stop using bevacizumab and tell your doctor right away if you start to notice any signs of bleeding.

bevacizumab may increase your chance of having blood clots or a brain condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). Stop using bevacizumab and tell your doctor right away if you develop chest pain, sudden and severe headaches, fainting spells, seizures, unusual drowsiness, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or walking while you are using bevacizumab.

Tell your doctor right away if you are having severe stomach pain accompanied by other symptoms such as constipation, fever, nausea, and vomiting. These could be symptoms of a serious medical condition.

bevacizumab may also increase your risk of having a serious condition called tracheoesophageal fistula (an abnormal opening in one or more places between the esophagus and the trachea). Tell your doctor right away if you start having trouble swallowing, coughing, or choking while eating, trouble breathing, or chest pain or discomfort while you are using bevacizumab.

Bevacizumab can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you start to cough up blood or if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising; black, tarry stools; blood in the urine or stools; or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

Bevacizumab may cause a serious side effect called an infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have fever, chills, trouble with breathing, lightheadedness, fainting, or chest pain within a few hours after you receive it.

bevacizumab Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chills
  • cloudy urine
  • convulsions
  • cough
  • cracks in the skin
  • decreased urine output
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dilated neck veins
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • ear congestion
  • extreme fatigue
  • fever
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • lack or loss of strength
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of heat from the body
  • loss of voice
  • mood changes
  • nasal congestion
  • nervousness
  • pain
  • pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid breathing
  • redness
  • runny nose
  • sensation of pins and needles
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sore throat
  • sores on the skin
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stabbing pain
  • sunken eyes
  • sweating
  • swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • thirst
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble with breathing
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • weight gain
  • wheezing
  • wrinkled skin
  • yellow skin
Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • bone pain
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • fainting
  • severe constipation
  • severe vomiting
  • stomach tenderness
  • Back pain
  • blisters
  • blurred vision
  • coma
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • increased thirst
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • open sores
  • pale skin
Incidence not known
  • Bloody mucus or unexplained nosebleeds
  • hoarseness
  • sudden weakness in the arms or legs
  • sudden, severe chest pain
  • voice changes

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloody nose
  • change in walking and balance
  • change in taste or bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • excess flow of tears
  • hair loss
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • low blood pressure
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • thinning of the hair
  • weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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