Generic Name: Bleomycin (blee oh MYE sin)
- Very bad lung problems have happened with bleomycin. Rarely, this has been deadly. The risk of lung problems may be higher in people with kidney problems, the elderly, and in people getting more than a total dose of 400 units. Lung problems have also happened in younger people and in people getting low doses. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath or other breathing problems.
- A very bad reaction has happened in people with lymphoma treated with this medicine. These reactions may happen during or within several hours of your dose. Most of the time, these reactions have happened after the first or second dose. Call your doctor if you have very bad dizziness, passing out, confusion, fever, chills, or wheezing. Talk with your doctor.
Uses of Bleomycin:
- It is used to treat cancer.
- It is used to stop fluid buildup in the lung cavity.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Bleomycin?
- If you have an allergy to bleomycin or any other part of bleomycin.
- 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 are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
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 this medicine 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 Bleomycin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take bleomycin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- To help with mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush or cotton swabs and rinse the mouth. Do not use mouth rinses that have alcohol in them.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your lung function checked as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- If you are 70 years or older, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking bleomycin.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this medicine, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Bleomycin) best taken?
Use bleomycin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot.
- It is given into the lung cavity.
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 or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- 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.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Cough that does not go away.
- Very bad mouth irritation.
- Very bad skin irritation.
- Very bad irritation where this medicine is used.
What are some other side effects of Bleomycin?
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:
- Change in skin or finger nails.
- Change in color of skin.
- Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
- Weight loss.
- Not hungry.
- Hair loss.
- Feeling tired or weak.
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 Bleomycin?
- If you need to store bleomycin at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- 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.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, 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.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take bleomycin or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 bleomycin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Review Date: September 6, 2017
More about bleomycin
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- Drug class: antibiotics/antineoplastics