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BEVACIZUMAB

Last updated on: October 26, 2021

BEVACIZUMAB

(be vuh SIZ uh mab)

Other Names for this Medication (Brand Name)

Avastin

Appearance

Injection: Colourless solution for injection into the blood stream.

Why this Medication is Used

Bevacizumab is used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal, breast, lung or brain cancers. It is also being studied for the treatment of other cancers.

How do you take this Medication

Your chemotherapy nurse will infuse the drug into your bloodstream.

BEVACIZUMABPrecautions

It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines.

Tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, or liver disease.

Some patients may experience a reaction during the infusion. Symptoms may include fever and chills, tiredness, headache or high blood pressure; less common symptoms may include nausea, itchiness, trouble breathing, teary eyes, or swelling of the throat. Your nurse will watch you closely, especially at the beginning, and the bevacizumab will be given slowly. Tell your nurse about any unusual feelings or symptoms as soon as they occur.

This chemotherapy should not be used if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is important to discuss birth control with your doctor (Note: birth control pills alone are not recommended as the only birth control method). Birth control should also be used by female partners, if you are a male taking this medication

It is important to tell your doctor if you have chickenpox (or have recently been exposed to someone who has had chickenpox), shingles, kidney disease or liver disease. Any of these conditions could affect therapy with this medication.

Due to increased risk of infection check with your doctor before having any vaccinations. Check with your doctor, before any surgery or dental work.

Do not take ASA without your doctor’s knowledge and consent.

BEVACIZUMAB

 If a doctor has advised you to take ASA to prevent heart disease or stroke, please discuss this with your oncologist (cancer doctor) before starting treatment.

Do not use ASA (Aspirin®, acetylsalicylic acid) for headache, fever, or occasional aches and pains; use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) instead. Many non-prescription medications contain ASA; always ask your pharmacist’s advice when choosing a product.

For more information on this medication, please call your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

SIDE EFFECTS PREVENTION WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
MORE COMMON:

High Blood Pressure

Nausea and vomiting

Headache

Feeling tired, weak

Diarrhea

Mouth sores

Loss of appetite,

allergic reactions

Your doctor/nurse will check your blood pressure

Take medications for nausea and vomiting.

Drink clear fluids. Get fresh air and rest.

Limit hot, spicy, and fried foods; limit foods and drinks with caffeine.

Maintain good mouth hygiene. Brush teeth often with a soft toothbrush. Avoid hot, spicy and acidic foods

If necessary your doctor may prescribe medication to treat high blood pressure.

If you vomit within 1 hour of taking anti-vomiting tablets you may take another dose. Phone your doctor if vomiting lasts more than 24 hours or nausea longer than 48 hours.

Drink plenty of fluids. Phone your doctor if diarrhea lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours.

Check with your doctor or nurse as soon as you notice sores on mouth or lips.

Let the nurse know immediately if you experience shaking, chills, fever, shortness of breath, or swelling.

LESS COMMON:

Signs of infection/ fever, chills, cough

Low white blood cells

Nosebleed

Dizziness, confusion

Abdominal Pain

Constipation

Muscle ache/ pain

vomiting and coughing up blood

Protein in urine

Limit contact with people who are sick or have colds. Rest often. Wash your hands often.

Eat a high fiber diet with whole grains, fruit and raw vegetables. Light daily exercise. Drink plenty of fluids

Urine dip test will be done before next infusion

Keep a thermometer at home. Recognize signs of infection. Phone your doctor or go to the emergency department right away if your temperature is over 38° C or 100° F. You may need antibiotics.

Call you doctor or nurse right away if you develop a nosebleed that doesn’t stop with pressure in 10-15min.

Contact your doctor if this is severe or if it persists

Try natural or over the counter laxatives. Suppositories may help. Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Notify your doctor if you have not had a bowel movement in 3 days.

Contact your doctor if this is severe or if it persists.

Contact your doctor or go to the emergency immediately

RARE:

Blood clots (increased risk for stroke, heart attack)

Decrease kidney function

Holes in the intestines

Slow healing of a wound

Bleeding from the lungs or inside the body

Opening of a healed wound

Contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY!

Call you doctor and go to the emergency immediately if you develop severe pain in your abdomen, along with nausea, constipation or other symptoms.

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