Generic Name: Bortezomib (bore TEZ oh mib)
Brand Name: Velcade
Medically reviewed on Feb 8, 2019
Uses of Velcade:
- It is used to treat multiple myeloma.
- 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 Velcade?
- If you have an allergy to bortezomib, boron, mannitol, or any other part of Velcade (bortezomib).
- 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 taking any of these drugs: Rifampin or St. John's wort.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Velcade (bortezomib) or for 2 months after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Velcade (bortezomib).
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 Velcade (bortezomib) 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 Velcade?
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Velcade (bortezomib) affects you.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection like fever, chills, flu-like signs, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Heart failure has happened with Velcade (bortezomib), as well as heart failure that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.
- Nerve problems like numbness, pain, or a burning feeling in the feet or hands can happen in people taking Velcade (bortezomib) and may get worse in people who already have them. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of nerve problems like not able to handle heat or cold, a lower sense of touch, or burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
- A very bad brain problem called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) may happen with Velcade (bortezomib). It may cause disability or can be deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs like confusion, memory problems, low mood (depression), change in the way you act, change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight.
- This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. 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 some time after care ends. Use birth control that you can trust. Talk with your doctor to see how long to use birth control after you stop Velcade (bortezomib).
- If you are a man and your sex partner gets pregnant while you take Velcade (bortezomib) or within several months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- If you are able to get pregnant, a pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting Velcade (bortezomib). Talk with your doctor.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy during care and for some time after care ends. Talk with your doctor to see how long to use birth control after you stop Velcade (bortezomib).
- If you get pregnant while taking Velcade (bortezomib) or within several months after the last dose, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Velcade) best taken?
Use Velcade (bortezomib) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into a vein or into the fatty part of the skin.
- This medicine must not be given into the spine.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, or are not hungry, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- If diarrhea or throwing up happens, talk with the doctor. You will need to make sure to avoid dehydration and electrolyte problems.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Velcade (bortezomib). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
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 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 high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Very bad belly pain.
- Very bad constipation.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Irritation where the shot is given.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly lung problems have happened with Velcade (bortezomib). Call your doctor right away if you have lung or breathing problems like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.
- Patients with cancer who take Velcade (bortezomib) may be at a greater risk of getting a severe health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS).This may lead to death. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast or abnormal heartbeat; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly brain problem called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has happened with Velcade (bortezomib). Call your doctor right away if you have signs like feeling confused, lowered alertness, change in eyesight, loss of eyesight, seizures, or very bad headache.
What are some other side effects of Velcade?
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.
- Stomach pain.
- Not hungry.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Not able to sleep.
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.
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 Velcade?
- If you need to store Velcade (bortezomib) 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 Velcade (bortezomib), 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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