Bevacizumab is used in combination with other anti-cancer drugs in the treatment of cancers of large bowel, breasts, lung (non-small cell cancer), kidney, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes and peritoneum (inner lining of the abdominal wall and organs).
How it works
Bevacizumab is an antiangiogenic agent that belongs to class of medicines called monoclonal antibodies. It prevents the formation of blood vessels in the tumors, deprives them of oxygen and nutrients and thereby slows the growth and spread of tumor cells.
Common side effects
Bloody diarrhea, Dry mouth, Altered taste, Fainting, Heartburn, Loss of appetite, Mouth ulcer, Voice change, Hoarseness of voice, Weight loss
- Inform your doctor if you have any bowel disorder (diverticulitis, stomach ulcers, colitis associated with chemotherapy), or have had major surgery including dental surgery within the last 28 days or have an unhealed wound following surgery.
- Inform your doctor if you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, previous blood clots in arteries, bleeding problems, are taking medicines to thin the blood or other anticancer drugs, had radiotherapy, heart disease or metastatic cancer affecting brain.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you notice bleeding from any part of your body, including nose-bleeds, coughing or spitting blood during the treatment.
- Bevacizumab may decrease the ability of your body to fight infections by decreasing the number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell).
- Take necessary precautions if you have previously experienced problems after injections, such as dizziness/feeling of fainting, breathlessness, swelling or skin rash, headache, vision changes, confusion or seizure with or without high blood pressure.
- Inform your dentist or physician if you have or have had pain in the mouth, teeth and/or jaw, swelling or sores inside the mouth, numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw, or loosening of a tooth.
- Do not drive or operate machinery as use of bevacizumab may cause sleepiness and fainting.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Is bevacizumab cytotoxic?
Yes, bevacizumab is cytotoxic and hence used in the treatment of various cancers. Its cytotoxic property is also responsible for the several side-effects that are seen with its use. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
Q. Is bevacizumab a vesicant?
Bevacizumab is not a vesicant (irritant).
Q. Is bevacizumab a chemotherapy drug/ immunotherapy drug /alkylating agent?
Bevacizumab is a chemotherapeutic drug belonging to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. It works by slowing the growth and spread of tumor cells by preventing the formation of blood vessels in the tumors, as a result of which these tumor cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. It is not an immunotherapy drug or an alkylating agent.
Q. Can I take ibuprofen with bevacizumab (Avastin)?
No clinically relevant drug interaction has been reported when taken along with ibuprofen. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its use.