Generic Name: bevacizumab (BE-va-SIZ-ue-mab)
Brand Name: Avastin
Serious stomach or bowel problems (eg, abscess, fistula, perforation) may occur with Avastin solution. These effects are not common, but may be serious and sometimes fatal. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual stomach pain along with constipation, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
The incidence of wound healing problems and surgical complications, including serious and sometimes fatal complications, is greater in patients who use Avastin solution. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any wounds that do not heal or if you have a surgical wound that opens up. Tell your doctor if you are scheduled to have surgery or if you have had surgery within the past 28 days. If possible, you should not use Avastin solution within 28 days before or after surgery and until the surgical wound is healed. Talk with your doctor for more information.
The risk of severe and sometimes fatal bleeding problems is increased with Avastin solution. Patients who have severe bleeding or a recent history of coughing up blood should not use Avastin solution. Contact your doctor right away if you experience unusual bruising or bleeding, including severe or persistent nosebleed; coughing up blood; black, tarry stools; blood in the vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; unusual or severe vaginal bleeding; or stroke symptoms (eg, confusion, slurred speech, vision problems, one-sided weakness).
Avastin solution is used for:
Treating cancer. It is used with other cancer medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Avastin solution is a monoclonal antibody. It works by decreasing the formation and growth of new blood vessels in the tumor by blocking the action of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This helps to slow the growth and spread of cancer.
Do NOT use Avastin solution if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Avastin solution
- you have severe bleeding or have recently coughed up blood
- you are using Avastin solution to treat ovarian cancer and the cancer is also in certain parts of your bowels or you have bowel blockage
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Avastin solution:
Some medical conditions may interact with Avastin solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are able to become pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances, including mouse or murine proteins
- if you have a history of chest pain (eg, angina), high blood pressure, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, heart disease, heart attack), blood vessel problems (eg, stroke), bleeding problems, blood clots, coughing up blood, or diabetes
- if you have a history of nervous system problems, stomach or bowel problems, kidney problems, or high amounts of protein in your urine
- if you have a low blood sodium level or a wound that has not fully healed, or if you are scheduled to have surgery or if you have had surgery in the past 28 days
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Avastin solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Sunitinib because a certain type of severe anemia (eg, hemolytic anemia) may occur
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Avastin solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Avastin solution:
Use Avastin solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Avastin solution is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- If you miss a dose of Avastin solution, contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Avastin solution.
Important safety information:
- Avastin solution may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Avastin solution with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
- Avastin solution may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Avastin solution may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Avastin solution may increase the risk of blood clots in your arteries or veins. This can lead to serious and sometimes fatal effects such as stroke, heart attack, or a blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism). Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of a blood clot (eg, pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness in an arm or leg; shortness of breath; coughing up blood), symptoms of stroke (eg, confusion, slurred speech, vision problems, one-sided weakness), or symptoms of a heart attack (eg, chest pain; numbness of an arm or leg; fainting; sudden, severe headache or vomiting).
- Avastin solution may cause a serious and sometimes fatal brain problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). If PRES occurs, symptoms may appear from 16 hours to 1 year after starting Avastin solution. Contact your doctor right away if you experience severe headache, seizures, sluggishness, confusion, vision changes, or loss of vision.
- A severe and sometimes fatal health problem called fistula has rarely happened with Avastin solution. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Diabetes patients - Avastin solution may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Avastin solution may cause infertility in women. If you are able to become pregnant, discuss any questions or concerns that you have about this information with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine while you are using Avastin solution.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Avastin solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including blood pressure, complete blood cell counts, and urine protein levels, may be performed while you use Avastin solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Avastin solution with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the risk of blood-clotting problems (eg, heart attack, stroke).
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Avastin solution may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Avastin solution while you are pregnant. If you are able to become pregnant, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the use of effective birth control while taking Avastin solution and for at least 6 months following the last dose of Avastin solution. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Avastin solution. Do not become pregnant or breast-feed immediately after you stop Avastin solution. Avastin solution can stay in your body for a long time after you stop using it. Talk with your doctor about when it may be safe to become pregnant or breast-feed.
Possible side effects of Avastin solution:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Back pain; changes in taste; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; dry skin; headache; increased thirst; indigestion; loss of appetite; minor nosebleeds; muscle pain; nausea; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; stuffy or runny nose; tiredness; voice changes; vomiting; weakness; weight loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain; confusion; decreased urination; fainting; mouth or tongue pain, swelling, or sores; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizure; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent nosebleed; severe or persistent stomach pain, constipation, nausea, or vomiting; severe or persistent weakness; shortness of breath; skin ulcers; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swelling or pain in the jaw; symptoms of bleeding (eg, vomit that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; unusual vaginal bleeding; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; severe bleeding or bleeding that you cannot stop); symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; ear or sinus pain; cough; more sputum or change in color of sputum; pain with passing urine; mouth sores; wound that will not heal; anal itching or pain); unusual or severe sweating; unusual weight gain or loss; vision loss, blurred vision, or other vision changes; wheezing; wounds that do not heal.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Avastin solution:
Avastin solution is handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Avastin solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Avastin solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Avastin solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Avastin solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Avastin solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Avastin solution.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.