Possible serious side effects

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):

GI perforation - stomach icon

A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever

Wounds that don’t heal - stitches suture icon

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 - blood droplets icon

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

What are the other possible serious side effects?

% = Percentage of patients who had this side effect in clinical studies across different cancers

Severe high blood pressure – cuff icon

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

Severe stroke or heart problems - heart icon

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

Kidney problems - kidney icon

These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal

Infusion reactions - IV drip bag icon

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

Abnormal passage in the body - medical symbol icon

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

Nervous system and vision problems - brain icon

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:

Warning/precaution - speech bubble with plus sign icon

Avastin should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed

Warning/precaution - speech bubble with plus sign icon

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

Warning/precaution - speech bubble with plus sign icon

Taking Avastin could cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children

Warning/precaution - speech bubble with plus sign icon

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.

What are the side effects of Avastin in rGBM?

In a rGBM trial, all side effects were collected for people taking Avastin with lomustine or lomustine alone. Serious to life threatening blood clots in the veins of the body were seen in 5% of patients receiving Avastin with chemotherapy compared to 2% of patients receiving chemotherapy alone. In this study, 22% of people who took Avastin with lomustine stopped treatment compared to 10% of people who took lomustine alone. The side effects found in people taking Avastin and lomustine are similar to other trials.

Financial resources calculator


Questions about Avastin treatment costs? Let us help you understand your financial assistance options.

How Avastin is designed to work


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

Avastin® (bevacizumab) Patient Resources


Find helpful information and support.