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How long does Velcade stay in your body?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 4, 2021.

Official answer


You could expect Velcade to stay in your system ranging from 9 days (220 hours) to 44 days (1061 hours) depending on which dose you receive.

The elimination half life is the time it takes for your body to reduce the plasma levels of the drug by one-half (50%). It usually takes around 5.5 x the half-live for a drug to be completely eliminated from your system. The elimination half life of Velcade (bortezomib) ranges from 40 hours to 193 hours after the 1 mg per m2 dose and 76 to 108 hours after the 1.3 mg per m2 dose.

Velcade (bortezomib) shows a biphasic elimination profile, which means is has a rapid distribution and uptake in your body, followed by a longer elimination.

  • Studies have shown a delayed elimination of bortezomib from the body when patients receive repeated administrations.
  • In one study, at any dose, the elimination half-life (t1/2) of bortezomib on day 11 was prolonged, and systemic clearance (CL) was lower compared with day 1.
  • For example, the half-life for a 1.3 mg per m2 dose was an average of 16 hours on day 1 increasing to 57 hours by day 11.

Factors that can affect the elimination time of a medicine from your body include:

  • Drug dose. How much medicine you have received and how often you have taken the drug.
  • Your metabolic rate. If you have a slower metabolic rate, this will increase the time a drug remains in your system.
  • Your age and health. Older age and medical problems (for example, liver or kidney disease) will generally increase the time that medicines stay in your system.
  • Body mass. Generally the larger you are the longer a drug will remain in your system.

Velcade (bortezomib) is an anticancer medicine given to adults to treat multiple myeloma (a cancer of plasma cells) or mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph nodes). It is given into your vein (intravenous) or as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. It interferes with cancer cell growth and helps to keep it from spreading. It is given with other medicines during your treatment cycles.

This is not all the information you need to know about Velcade (bortezomib) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Velcade information and discuss this medicine and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

  • Velcade (bortezomib) prescribing information. Revised 10/2021. Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Accessed Nov. 4, 2021 at
  • Ogawa Y, Tobinai K, Ogura M, et al. Phase I and II pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in Japanese patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Cancer Sci. 2008 Jan;99(1):140-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2007.00638.x.
  • Schwartz R, Davidson T. Pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and practical applications of bortezomib. Oncology (Williston Park). 2004 Dec;18(14 Suppl 11):14-21. PMID: 15688598.

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