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Blenoxane Dosage

Generic name: bleomycin sulfate
Dosage form: Injection

Medically reviewed on March 30, 2018.

Because of the possibility of an anaphylactoid reaction, lymphoma patients should be treated with 2 units or less for the first two doses. If no acute reaction occurs, then the regular dosage schedule may be followed.

The following dose schedule is recommended:

Squamous cell carcinoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular carcinoma—0.25 to 0.50 units/kg (10 to 20 units/m2) given intravenously, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously weekly or twice weekly.

Hodgkin’s Disease—0.25 to 0.50 units/kg (10 to 20 units/m2) given intravenously, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously weekly or twice weekly. After a 50% response, a maintenance dose of 1 unit daily or 5 units weekly intravenously or intramuscularly should be given.

Pulmonary toxicity of BLENOXANE appears to be dose-related with a striking increase when the total dose is over 400 units. Total doses over 400 units should be given with great caution.

Note: When BLENOXANE (bleomycin sulfate for injection, USP) is used in combination with other antineoplastic agents, pulmonary toxicities may occur at lower doses.

Improvement of Hodgkin’s Disease and testicular tumors is prompt and noted within 2 weeks. If no improvement is seen by this time, improvement is unlikely. Squamous cell cancers respond more slowly, sometimes requiring as long as 3 weeks before any improvement is noted.

Malignant Pleural Effusion—60 units administered as a single dose bolus intrapleural injection (see Administration: Intrapleural).

Use in Patients with Renal Insufficiency

The following dosing reductions are proposed for patients with creatinine clearance (CrCL) values of less than 50 mL/min:

Patient CrCL
Dose (%)
50 and above 100
40-50 70
30-40 60
20-30 55
10-20 45
5-10 40

CrCL can be estimated from the individual patient’s measured serum creatinine (Scr) values using the Cockcroft and Gault formula:

Males CrCL = [weight × (140 – Age)]/(72 × Scr)
Females CrCL = 0.85 × [weight × (140 – Age)]/(72 × Scr)
Where CrCL in mL/min/1.73m2, weight in kg, age in years, and Scr in mg/dL.


BLENOXANE may be given by the intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous, or intrapleural routes.

To minimize the risk of dermal exposure, always wear impervious gloves when handling vials containing BLENOXANE for injection. This includes all handling activities in clinical settings, pharmacies, storerooms, and home healthcare settings, including during unpacking and inspection, transport within a facility, and dose preparation and administration.

Intramuscular or Subcutaneous

The BLENOXANE 15 units vial should be reconstituted with 1 to 5 mL of Sterile Water for Injection, USP, Sodium Chloride for Injection, 0.9%, USP, or Sterile Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP. The BLENOXANE 30 units vial should be reconstituted with 2 to 10 mL of the above diluents.


The contents of the 15 units or 30 units vial should be dissolved in 5 mL or 10 mL, respectively, of Sodium Chloride for Injection, 0.9%, USP, and administered slowly over a period of 10 minutes.


Sixty units of BLENOXANE are dissolved in 50–100 mL Sodium Chloride for Injection, 0.9%, USP, and administered through a thoracostomy tube following drainage of excess pleural fluid and confirmation of complete lung expansion. The literature suggests that successful pleurodesis is, in part, dependent upon complete drainage of the pleural fluid and reestablishment of negative intrapleural pressure prior to instillation of a sclerosing agent. Therefore, the amount of drainage from the chest tube should be as minimal as possible prior to instillation of BLENOXANE. Although there is no conclusive evidence to support this contention, it is generally accepted that chest tube drainage should be less than 100 mL in a 24-hour period prior to sclerosis. However, BLENOXANE instillation may be appropriate when drainage is between 100–300 mL under clinical conditions that necessitate sclerosis therapy. The thoracostomy tube is clamped after BLENOXANE instillation. The patient is moved from the supine to the left and right lateral positions several times during the next four hours. The clamp is then removed and suction reestablished. The amount of time the chest tube remains in place following sclerosis is dictated by the clinical situation.

The intrapleural injection of topical anesthetics or systemic narcotic analgesia is generally not required.

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.

Further information

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