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Bevacizumab (Hamster) Solution for injection

It targets a protein found in many cancer cell types, and halts cancer growth

Generic Name: bevacizumab

Brand Names: Avastin

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

    GI Perforations
  • GI perforation reported in 2.4 or 0.9% of patients with colorectal cancer or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), respectively, receiving bevacizumab; may be fatal; sometimes associated with or complicated by fistula formation and/or intra-abdominal abscess. Manifested as abdominal pain with constipation, vomiting, and/or fever.
  • May develop at any time during treatment (i.e., not correlated with duration of exposure).
  • Include GI perforation in differential diagnosis of patients presenting with abdominal pain. If GI perforation occurs, discontinue bevacizumab permanently. (See GI Perforations under Cautions.)
    Wound Healing Complications
  • Wound dehiscence, sometimes fatal, reported in patients receiving bevacizumab. (See Wound Healing Complications under Cautions.)
  • If wound dehiscence requiring medical intervention occurs, discontinue bevacizumab permanently.

  • Serious (sometimes fatal) pulmonary hemorrhage reported in patients with NSCLC receiving bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy. Severe or fatal hemoptysis reported in 31% of patients with NSCLC with squamous histology and in 2.3% of patients with NSCLC without predominant squamous histology. (See Hemorrhage under Cautions.)
  • Do not administer to patients with recent hemoptysis (≥½ teaspoon of red blood).

What is this medicine?

BEVACIZUMAB (be va SIZ yoo mab) is a chemotherapy drug. It targets a protein found in many cancer cell types, and halts cancer growth. This drug treats many cancers including non-small cell lung cancer, and colon or rectal cancer. It is usually given with other chemotherapy drugs.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood clots
  • heart disease, including heart failure, heart attack, or chest pain (angina)
  • high blood pressure
  • infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
  • kidney disease
  • lung disease
  • prior chemotherapy with doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, or other anthracycline type chemotherapy agents
  • recent or ongoing radiation therapy
  • recent surgery
  • stroke
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to bevacizumab, hamster proteins, mouse proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician 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 your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work and urine testing done while you are taking this medicine.

During your treatment, let your health care professional know if you have any unusual symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.

This medicine may rarely cause 'gastrointestinal perforation' (holes in the stomach, intestines or colon), a serious side effect requiring surgery to repair.

This medicine should be started at least 28 days following major surgery and the site of the surgery should be totally healed. Check with your doctor before scheduling dental work or surgery while you are receiving this treatment. Talk to your doctor if you have recently had surgery or if you have a wound that has not healed.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

This medicine has caused ovarian failure in some women. This medicine may interfere with the ability to have a child. You should talk to your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.

Last Updated: November 18, 2011
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