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.
Most 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
What are the other possible serious side effects?
% = Percentage of patients who had this side effect in clinical studies across different cancers
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, 1%). 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). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion 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 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
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
- Rectal bleeding
- Back pain
- 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:
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 six months after taking Avastin
If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, 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.
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FIND OUT HOW AVASTIN IS DESIGNED TO WORK
Avastin is a tumor starving therapy. Read more about how it’s designed to work.