Everyone reacts differently to Avastin® (bevacizumab) 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.
Serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):
A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
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
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
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
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
These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
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, serious allergic reactions, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion-related reactions
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
Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness
In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:
Talk to your doctor if you are:
Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
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
Taking Avastin could cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children
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.
See the table below for select side effects that increased by 2% or more in patients who added Avastin to carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy).
See the tables below for select side effects that increased by 2% or more in patients who added Avastin to IV 5–FU–based chemotherapy.
See the table below for select side effects that increased by 2% or more in patients who added Avastin to interferon alfa.
*This included nosebleeds, coughing up blood, bleeding of the gums, bleeding in the small and large intestines, and bleeding in the brain, stomach, respiratory tract and skull.
See the table below for select side effects that increased by 2% or more in patients who added Avastin to carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy) followed by Avastin alone or who added Avastin to carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy) followed by placebo compared to chemotherapy alone.
In one study, the most common severe to life-threatening side effects that increased by 2% or more in people who received Avastin plus carboplatin and gemcitabine (chemotherapy) compared to those who received placebo plus chemotherapy or vice versa (refer to the last 2 rows of the table) were:
In a separate study, the most common severe to life-threatening side effects that increased by 2% or more in people who received Avastin plus carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy) compared to those who received chemotherapy were:
The most common severe to life-threatening side effects that increased by 2% or more in people who received Avastin plus chemotherapy (compared with those receiving chemotherapy alone):
Questions about Avastin treatment costs? Let us help you understand your financial assistance options.
Avastin is a tumor-starving therapy. Read more about how it's designed to work.
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The BrandX™ Co-pay Card Program may help lower the out-of-pocket costs for your patients.
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Under the Program, the patient may pay a co-pay. The final amount owed by a patient may be as little as $0 for the Genentech medicine (see Program specific details). The total patient out-of-pocket cost is dependent on the patient’s health insurance plan. The Program assists with the cost of the Genentech medicine only. It does not assist with the cost of other medicines, procedures or office visit fees. After reaching the maximum annual Program benefit amount, the patient will be responsible for all remaining out-of-pocket expenses. The Program benefit amount cannot exceed the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses for the cost associated with the Genentech medicine. The maximum Program benefit will reset every January 1st. The Program is not health insurance or a benefit plan. The patient’s non-governmental insurance is the primary payer. The Program does not obligate the use of any specific medicine or provider. Patients receiving assistance from charitable free medicine programs (such as the Genentech Patient Foundation) or any other charitable organizations for the same expenses covered by the Program are not eligible. The Program benefit cannot be combined with any other rebate, free trial or a similar offer for the Genentech medicine. No party may seek reimbursement for all or any part of the benefit received through the Program.
The Program may be accepted by participating pharmacies, physicians’ offices or hospitals. Once a patient is enrolled, the Program will honor claims with a date of service that precedes the Program enrollment date up to 180 days. Claims must be submitted within 365 days from the date of service unless otherwise indicated. Use of the Program must be consistent with all relevant health insurance requirements. Participating patients, pharmacies, physicians’ offices and hospitals are responsible for reporting the receipt of all Program benefits as required by any insurer or by law. Program benefits may not be sold, purchased, traded or offered for sale.
The patient or their guardian must be 18 years of age or older to receive Program assistance. The Program is only valid in the United States and U.S. Territories, is void where prohibited by law and shall follow state restrictions in relation to AB-rated generic equivalents (e.g., MA, CA) where applicable. Eligible patients will be automatically re-enrolled in the Program on an annual basis. Eligible patients will be removed from the Program after 3 years of inactivity (e.g., no claims submitted in a 3-year timeframe). Program eligibility and automatic re-enrollment are contingent upon the patient’s ability to meet all requirements set forth by the Program. Healthcare providers may not advertise or otherwise use the Program as a means of promoting their services or Genentech medicines to patients. The Program is intended for the patient. Only the patient using the Program may receive the funds made available through the Program. The Program is not intended for third parties who reduce the amount available to the patient or take a portion for their own purposes. Patients with health plans that redirect Genentech Program assistance intended for patient out-of-pocket costs may be subject to alternate Program benefit structures. Genentech reserves the right to rescind, revoke or amend the Program without notice at any time.
Eligible people pay as little as $0 for their Avastin treatment.* Click here to learn more about the Genentech Oncology Co-pay Assistance Program and other financial support options.
*Eligible criteria apply. Not valid for patients using federal or state government programs to pay for their medications. Patients must be taking Avastin for an FDA-approved indication. See full TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
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