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Bortezomib is used to treat certain types of cancer such as multiple myeloma (a cancer of the cells of the immune system in the bone marrow) and mantle cell lymphoma (a cancer of the cells of the immune system affecting the lymph nodes).

How it works

Bortezomib belongs to the class of drugs called proteasome inhibitors. Proteasomes are proteins which play an important role in growth and multiplication of cancer cells. Bortezomib blocks the action of proteasome, and reduces the growth of cancerous (actively growing) cells.

Common side effects

Nausea, Numbness, Pain in extremity, Rash, Loss of sense of taste, Anxiety, Blurred vision, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Abdominal bloating, Constipation, Increased blood pressure, Decreased blood pressure, Dehydration, Depression, Diarrhoea, Disorientation (alteration of mental status), Dry skin, Skin redness, Decreased red blood cell count, Eye infection, Facial blushing, Fever, Gastrointestinal bleeding, Generalised swelling, Headache, Increased sweating, Insomnia, Itching, Decreased white blood cell count, Lightheadedness, Loss of appetite, Loss of consciousness, Mood swings, Mouth ulcer, Muscle pain, Bone pain, Nose bleed, Respiratory tract infection, Fungal infection, Restlessness, Agitation, Painful rash, Shivering, Dry mouth, Sore mouth, Stomach pain, Tingling sensation, Burning sensation, Vertigo, Vomiting, Weakness, Fatigue, Weight loss, Liver dysfunction, Renal dysfunction


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Expert advice

  • Before taking bortezomib, consult your doctor if you have any of the following disease conditions: disease of liver, kidney, heart or infections like fever with rash or genital sores, diabetes, low number of red or white blood cells or bleeding problems.
  • Drink plenty of fluids every day during your treatment with bortezomib.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult your doctor if you have signs of serious brain infection such as memory loss, trouble in thinking, difficulty with walking or loss of vision.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery after taking bortezomib as it may cause tiredness, dizziness, fainting or blurred vision.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is bortezomib a chemotherapy/hormonal drug/ cytotoxic?
Bortezomib is not a hormone. It is a chemotherapy/ cytotoxic drug used in the treatment of cancers including multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.
Q. How does bortezomib work? 
Bortezomib belongs to the class of drugs called a proteasome inhibitor. It acts by blocking the action of proteasome, and affects the growth of cancerous (actively growing) cells.
Q. Is bortezomib FDA approved?
Yes, bortezomib is approved by FDA.
Q. Is bortezomib dialyzable?
Yes, bortezomib is dialyzable. 
Q. Is bortezomib toxic?
Bortezomib can cause toxic effects if not given in appropriate dose although not everybody gets them.
Q. Does bortezomib cause constipation?
Bortezomib may cause side effects such as constipation.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)