Skip to Content
Learn about Adcetris a treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Bendamustine

Generic Name: Bendamustine (ben da MUS teen)
Brand Name: Bendeka, Treanda

Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018

Uses of Bendamustine:

  • It is used to treat a type of leukemia.
  • It is used to treat a type of lymphoma.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Bendamustine?

  • If you have an allergy to bendamustine, mannitol, or any other part of bendamustine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take bendamustine.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with bendamustine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take bendamustine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Bendamustine?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take bendamustine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how bendamustine affects you.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may lower the ability of your bone marrow to make blood cells that your body needs. This can lead to needing a blood transfusion and very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems or infections. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Some patients have very bad side effects during the infusion. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects during the infusion.
  • Other types of cancer may rarely happen later in life.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with bendamustine. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Heart problems like heart failure have happened in people taking bendamustine. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have chest pain or pressure, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with bendamustine. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are a man and have sex with a female who could get pregnant, protect her from pregnancy during care and for 3 months after care ends. Use birth control that you can trust.
  • If you are a man and your sex partner gets pregnant while you take bendamustine or within 3 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may affect sperm in men. This may affect being able to father a child. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking bendamustine and for 3 months after care ends.
  • If you get pregnant while taking bendamustine or within 3 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Bendamustine) best taken?

Use bendamustine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
  • Other drugs may be given to help with infusion side effects.
  • If you have upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with bendamustine may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad dizziness or passing out, fast heartbeat, more thirst, seizures, feeling very tired or weak, not hungry, unable to pass urine or change in the amount of urine produced, dry mouth, dry eyes, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Patients with cancer who take bendamustine may be at a greater risk of getting a bad health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat or a heartbeat that does not feel normal; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • This medicine may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.

What are some other side effects of Bendamustine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Belly pain or heartburn.
  • Back pain.
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Headache.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Not hungry.
  • Weight loss.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Nose and throat irritation.
  • Change in taste.
  • Anxiety.
  • Night sweats.
  • Sweating a lot.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Bendamustine?

  • If you need to store bendamustine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about bendamustine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

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

Hide