Generic Name: bevacizumab (be-va-SIZ-yoo-mab - awwb)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 6, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Bevacizumab
Uses for bevacizumab-awwb
Bevacizumab-awwb injection is given with other medicines to treat patients with metastatic (cancer that has spread) carcinoma of the colon or rectum.
Bevacizumab-awwb injection is also used together with other medicines (eg, carboplatin and paclitaxel) to treat nonsquamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread, come back, or cannot be removed by surgery. It is also used to treat a type of brain tumor called glioblastoma that keeps coming back (recurrent).
Bevacizumab-awwb injection is also used in combination with other medicines (eg, interferon alfa) to treat patients with metastatic kidney cancer. It is also used in combination with other medicines (eg, paclitaxel and cisplatin, or paclitaxel and topotecan) to treat patients with cervical cancer that is continuing, keeps coming back, or has spread to other parts of the body.
Bevacizumab-awwb is an antineoplastic that helps the body fight cancer. It prevents the growth of certain types of blood vessels to cancer cells. This helps decrease the growth of cancer cells by starving them of the nutrients they need to grow.
Bevacizumab-awwb is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before using bevacizumab-awwb
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For bevacizumab-awwb, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to bevacizumab-awwb or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of bevacizumab-awwb injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of bevacizumab-awwb injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related heart or blood vessel problems, which may require caution in patients receiving bevacizumab-awwb injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving bevacizumab-awwb, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using bevacizumab-awwb with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of bevacizumab-awwb. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina (severe chest pain) or
- Bleeding problems or
- Blood clots or
- Diabetes or
- Esophagus problems or
- Heart attack, history of or
- Heart failure or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Kidney problems or
- Liver problems or
- Protein in the urine or
- Stomach or bowel problems (eg, blockage, fistula, perforation) or
- Stroke, history of or
- Wound healing problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Hemoptysis (coughing up blood), recent—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
Proper use of bevacizumab-awwb
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving bevacizumab-awwb, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you bevacizumab-awwb in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. It must be given slowly, so the needle will need to stay in place for at least 30 to 90 minutes.
Precautions while using bevacizumab-awwb
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely and at regular visits to make sure that bevacizumab-awwb is working properly. Blood and urine tests are needed to check for unwanted effects. Be sure to keep all appointments. You may be taught how to check your blood pressure at home.
Receiving bevacizumab-awwb while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving bevacizumab-awwb and for at least 6 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while receiving bevacizumab-awwb, tell your doctor right away.
Receiving bevacizumab-awwb may increase risk of ovarian failure. Talk with your doctor if you plan to have children. Some women receiving bevacizumab-awwb have become infertile (unable to have children).
Bevacizumab-awwb can cause stomach or bowel perforation (tear or hole), including blockage. Check with your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, constipation, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
Bevacizumab-awwb may also increase your risk of having a serious condition called tracheoesophageal fistula (an abnormal opening in one or more places between the esophagus and the trachea). Tell your doctor right away if you start having trouble swallowing, coughing, or choking while eating, trouble breathing, or chest pain or discomfort while you are receiving bevacizumab-awwb.
Make sure any doctor who treats you knows that you are receiving bevacizumab-awwb. You may need to stop receiving bevacizumab-awwb at least 4 weeks before and after having surgery.
Bevacizumab-awwb can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
- If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you start to cough up blood or if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
Bevacizumab-awwb may increase your risk of developing blood clots. Check with your doctor right away if you have swelling and pain in your arms, legs, or stomach, chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of sensation, confusion, or problems with muscle control or speech.
Your blood pressure might get too high while you are using bevacizumab-awwb. This may cause headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision. You might need to measure your blood pressure at home. If you think your blood pressure is too high, call your doctor right away.
Bevacizumab-awwb may increase your chance of having a brain condition, called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Check with your doctor right away if you start having headaches, seizures, extreme drowsiness, confusion, or problems with vision while you are receiving bevacizumab-awwb.
Bevacizumab-awwb may cause infusion-related reactions, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have a fever, chills or shaking, dizziness, trouble breathing, itching or rash, lightheadedness or fainting after receiving bevacizumab-awwb.
Do not receive bevacizumab-awwb together with cancer medicines containing anthracycline, especially if you have heart failure.
Bevacizumab-awwb side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- black, tarry stools
- bladder pain
- bleeding gums
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blood in the urine or stools
- bloody nose
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blurred vision
- body aches or pain
- chest pain
- cloudy urine
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- dry mouth
- ear congestion
- flushed, dry skin
- frequent urge to urinate
- fruit-like breath odor
- increased hunger
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- loss of voice
- lower back or side pain
- pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
- pelvic pain
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- pounding in the ears
- rapid weight gain
- runny or stuffy nose
- slow or fast heartbeat
- slow wound healing
- sore throat
- sores on the skin
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- stomach cramps, discomfort, upset, or pain
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- swollen glands
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- unexplained weight loss
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- voice changes
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- watery or bloody diarrhea
- weight gain
- wrinkled skin
- yellow skin
- Bone pain
- difficulty with swallowing
- severe constipation
- severe vomiting
- stomach pain or tenderness
Incidence not known
- Bloody mucus or unexplained nosebleeds
- decreased vision or other changes in vision
- eye pain
- eye redness
- heavy jaw feeling
- high fever
- loosening of a tooth
- loss of vision
- pain, swelling, or numbness in the mouth or jaw
- pale skin
- severe stomach pain
- stomach cramping or burning
- stomach pain, usually after eating a meal
- sudden weakness in the arms or legs
- tearing of the eyes
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- back pain
- bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- change in walking and balance
- clumsiness or unsteadiness
- decreased weight
- difficulty in moving
- excess flow of tears
- joint pain or swelling
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of appetite
- loss or thinning of the hair
- pain in the rectum
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
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More about bevacizumab
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 30 Reviews
- Drug class: VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors
- FDA Alerts (6)
- Patient Information
- Bevacizumab Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
- Bevacizumab-bvzr Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.