What is this medication for?

Bevacizumab is used to treat some types of cancer (e.g. colorectal cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer).

It is a monoclonal antibody which blocks VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), thus preventing the growth of blood vessels which supply oxygen and nutrients to the cancer cells.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Bevacizumab is given as an injection into your vein (intravenous).

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You become pregnant or plan for pregnancy
    • You should use effective birth control during treatment and for 6 months after your last treatment.
  • You are breastfeeding
    • Do not breastfeed during treatment and for 6 months after your last treatment.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You are going for any surgical procedures (e.g. biopsy, tooth extraction) at least 4 weeks beforehand, as treatment may need to be temporarily stopped.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

Early Side Effects (within days after receiving Bevacizumab)

  • Diarrhea
    • Drink plenty of clear fluids to replace those lost (2 litres everyday).
    • Avoid oily or spicy food and milk or dairy products.

Delayed Side Effects (within days to weeks after receiving Bevacizumab)

  • Increased blood pressure that may cause headache, dizziness or changes in vision
    • Monitor your blood pressure regularly and record it down. Inform your doctor if you notice an increasing trend.
  • Protein loss in urine
    • Your doctor will arrange for a test to check this for you.
  • Increased chances of low blood counts if you are also receiving chemotherapy

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Allergic reactions. Please alert your nurse if you experience this during your treatment. The symptoms of this include one or more of the following:
    • Chills, rigors
    • Facial flushing
    • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising, black sticky stools, coughing up blood, or persistent nosebleeds or gum bleeding
  • Signs of blood clot such as painful leg swelling, tenderness or hardness over a vein, sudden onset of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or stroke symptoms (e.g. sudden onset of severe headache, trouble talking or moving properly, weakness or numbness in arm or leg)
  • Wounds that do not heal or are slow to heal
  • Very bad stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, fever

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your healthcare professional immediately.

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