Bevacizumab: Uses, Side Effects

Bevacizumab is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Bevacizumab is used to treat a certain type of brain tumor, and certain types of cancers of the kidney, lung, colon, rectum, cervix, ovary, or fallopian tube. Bevacizumab is also used to treat cancer of the membrane lining the internal organs in your abdomen. It is usually given as part of a combination of cancer medicines.

Bevacizumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use bevacizumab if you are allergic to it, or:

  • if you have slow healing of a skin wound or surgical incision;
  • if you have had surgery within the past 4 weeks (28 days);
  • if you have recently been coughing up blood; or
  • if you plan to have surgery within the next 4 weeks (28 days).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;
  • a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots;
  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder; or
  • stomach or intestinal bleeding, or perforation (a hole or tear) in your esophagus, stomach, or intestines.

In animal studies, bevacizumab caused birth defects. However, it is not known whether these effects would occur in humans. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.

Bevacizumab may cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working correctly. Symptoms of ovarian failure include 3 or more missed menstrual periods in a row. This may affect your fertility (ability to have children). Talk to your doctor about your specific risks.

You should not breast-feed while using bevacizumab.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Bevacizumab can make it easier for you to bleed. Call your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have:

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, rectum), or any bleeding that will not stop;
  • signs of bleeding in your digestive tract–severe stomach pain, bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or
  • signs of bleeding in the brain–sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, problems with vision or balance.

Bevacizumab can cause a rare but serious neurologic disorder affecting the brain. Symptoms may occur within hours of your first dose, or they may not appear for up to a year after your treatment started. Call your doctor at once if you have extreme weakness or tiredness, headache, confusion, vision problems, fainting, or seizure (blackout or convulsions).

Some people receiving bevacizumab have developed a fistula (an abnormal passageway) within the throat, lungs, gallbladder, kidney, bladder, or vagina. Call your doctor if you have: chest pain and trouble breathing, stomach pain or swelling, urine leakage, or if you feel like you are choking and gagging when you eat or drink.

Common side effects may include:

  • nosebleed, rectal bleeding;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • headache, back pain;
  • dry or watery eyes;
  • dry or flaky skin;
  • runny nose, sneezing; or
  • changes in your sense of taste.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

What other drugs will affect bevacizumab?

Other drugs may affect bevacizumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.


Keyword: bevacizumab.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.