Precautions and Warnings With Bevacizumab
It's important to review precautions and warnings with bevacizumab with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment. This includes telling him or her if you have a history of kidney disease or certain heart conditions, as well as if you are planning on becoming pregnant or breastfeeding. It's also important to know that the drug can cause potentially life-threatening side effects, such as reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome and gastrointestinal perforations.
In late 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that bevacizumab's breast cancer approval be removed. Studies have not shown the drug to increase survival in people with breast cancer, and there is not sufficient benefit to outweigh the risks.
This action does not affect bevacizumab's approval for other uses. Healthcare providers may still use bevacizumab to treat breast cancer, although they will be doing so in an "off-label" fashion.
Bevacizumab: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking bevacizumab (Avastin®) if you have:
- Heart disease
- A history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any infection or fever
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Planning to have surgery.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.