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Generic name: brentuximab vedotinbren-TUX-i-mab-ve-DOE-tin ]
Drug class: CD30 monoclonal antibodies

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 4, 2022.

What is Adcetris?

Adcetris is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Adcetris is used to treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma that could relapse or has already relapsed after a stem cell transplant or treatment with other cancer medications.

Adcetris is also used to treat anaplastic large cell lymphoma that affects organs throughout the body (systemic) or that is confined only to the skin (primary cutaneous).

Adcetris is sometimes given after other treatments have failed.


You should not receive Adcetris if you are also receiving another cancer medicine called bleomycin.

Adcetris may cause a serious brain infection that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Adcetris if you are allergic to brentuximab vedotin, or:

  • if you are also receiving another cancer medicine called bleomycin.

To make sure Adcetris is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Both men and women using this medicine should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Brentuximab vedotin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or father is using this medicine.

Keep using birth control for at least 6 months after your last dose of Adcetris. Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using this medicine.

You should not breast-feed while you are using Adcetris.

How is Adcetris given?

Adcetris is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Adcetris is usually given once every 2 to 3 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects or an allergic reaction. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Brentuximab vedotin can lower your blood cell counts. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

Brentuximab vedotin doses are based on weight. Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use this medicine. You may need to stop for a short time.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Lymphoma:

Initial dose: 1.8 mg/kg IV over 30 minutes every 3 weeks
Maximum dose: 180 mg

-Administer as an IV infusion over 30 minutes every 3 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
-For classical HL post-auto-HSCT consolidation treatment, treatment should be initiated within 4 to 6 weeks post-auto-HSCT or upon recovery from auto-HSCT. These patients should continue treatment until a maximum of 16 cycles, disease progression, or unacceptable toxicity.

-Classical HL after failure of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) or after failure of at least two prior multi-agent chemotherapy regimens in patients who are not auto-HSCT candidates
-For the treatment of patients with classical HL at high risk of relapse or progression as post-auto-HSCT consolidation
-For treatment of patients with systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma sALCL after failure of at least one prior multi-agent chemotherapy regimen

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor if you miss an appointment for your Adcetris injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving Adcetris?

Brentuximab vedotin can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Adcetris side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Adcetris (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Some side effects may occur during the injection or within 24 hours afterward. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, chilled or feverish, or if you have itching or trouble breathing.

Brentuximab vedotin may cause a serious brain infection that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.

Also call your doctor if you have any of these other serious side effects, even if they occur several months after you receive Adcetris:

  • numbness, weakness, burning pain, tingly feeling, or loss of feeling in your arms or legs;

  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • high blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor;

  • ketoacidosis (too much acid in the blood) - nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, confusion, unusual drowsiness, or trouble breathing; or

  • low blood cell counts - fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath;

  • signs of tumor cell breakdown - confusion, weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, fast or slow heart rate, decreased urination, tingling in your hands and feet or around your mouth;

  • pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting;

  • liver problems - loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • stomach problems - severe constipation, new or worsening stomach pain, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common Adcetris side effects may include:

  • numbness or tingling;

  • fever;

  • low blood cell counts;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation; or

  • feeling tired.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Adcetris?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may interact with brentuximab vedotin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Popular FAQ

Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion into your vein at a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. The infusion is usually given every 2 or every 3 weeks based on your diagnosis. Adcetris is a cancer treatment for different forms of lymphoma (blood cancer). Continue reading

Adcetris is used to treat cancer but is not a traditional chemotherapy. Adcetris combines an antibody and a cancer drug, allowing the antibody to direct the drug to a target on lymphoma cancer cells known as CD30. Continue reading

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Adcetris only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.