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How is Avastin given?

Avastin® (bevacizumab) is given as an infusion. That means you get Avastin through a small needle in your vein or through a port, which is a device placed under your skin.

Because Avastin is given as an infusion, infusion-related reactions may occur. Avastin infusions will be stopped by your doctor or nurse if infusion reactions are severe.

Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of an infusion-related reaction, which may include:

  • High blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke
  • Trouble breathing
  • Decreased oxygen in red blood cells
  • A serious allergic reaction
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating

How often do I get Avastin infusions?

Avastin is given every 3 weeks to treat your advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer. Because Avastin can be scheduled on the same day you get your carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy), it may not require extra visits to an infusion center.

Infusions every 3 weeks for 1L metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

How long do my Avastin infusions take?

You always get the same dose of Avastin. If your Avastin infusions are tolerated, they can take as little as 30 minutes.

How long do Avastin® (bevacizumab) infusions take?

Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion-related reactions, and may stop Avastin treatment if severe reactions occur. Reactions can include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating.

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How Avastin is designed to work

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Avastin is a tumor-starving therapy. Read more about how it's designed to work. 

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Indication

Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is approved to treat advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

Possible serious side effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So, it's important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects.

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Wounds that don't heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion-related reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.4% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion-related reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion-related reactions
  • Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, chest pain, and your heart may become too weak to pump blood to other parts of your body (congestive heart failure). These can sometimes be fatal
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness

Side effects seen most often

In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Watery eyes

Avastin is not for everyone

Talk to your doctor if you are:

  • Undergoing surgery. Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Pregnant or think you are pregnant. Data have shown that Avastin may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant
  • Planning to become pregnant. Taking Avastin could cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding while on Avastin may harm your baby, therefore, women should not breastfeed during and for 6 months after taking Avastin

For more information about your treatment or condition, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Product Information for additional important safety information.