Commonly reported side effects of bevacizumab include nausea, stomach pain, fatigue, and vomiting. These side effects are generally mild and easily treated -- in fact, most people have no problems when taking it. However, some bevacizumab side effects should be reported to your healthcare provider right away, including signs of a hole in the intestines, unusual bleeding, and signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing.
An Introduction to Side Effects of Bevacizumab
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with bevacizumab (Avastin®); however, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
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.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with bevacizumab. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of bevacizumab side effects with you.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Avastin [package insert]. San Francisco (CA): Genentech, Inc.;2013 January.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA begins process to remove breast cancer indication from Avastin label (12/16/2010). FDA Web site. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2010/ucm237172.htm. Accessed March 15, 2011.
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