Avastin has three primary risks associated with it.
Gastrointestinal perforation, surgery and wound healing complications, and hemorrhage each may have
serious, life-threatening, or fatal incidents in patients taking Avastin. The incidence of
gastrointestinal perforation, sometimes fatal, ranges from 0.3% to 2.4% in patients being treated
with Avastin. Any patient who experiences gastrointestinal perforation should discontinue taking
Avastin. The incidence of complications of surgery or wound-healing is increased in Avastin users.
A patient who has difficulty healing from a wound or recovering from surgery while using Avastin
should also stop using the medication. Patients using Avastin should stop using the medication at
least 28 days before an elective surgery. Your Avastin treatment should not be resumed until at
least 28 days after surgery; be sure that any surgery wounds are completely healed, as
well. Severe, even fatal hemorrhage can increase up to
five times in patients on Avastin treatment. There are other risks associated with using Avastin,
so talk to your doctor before beginning to use this medication.
Indication: Avastin is a liquid medication that you will receive through an
intravenous injection. You may know this medication by its generic name, bevacizumab; you can
recognize it by its clear, colorless or slightly brown appearance. Avastin is used most frequently
to treat colon, rectal, and kidney cancer, though it may be used to treat certain forms of lung
cancer and brain cancer.
cancer – The following
doses are usually prescribed: 5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg body weight, administered once
every 2 weeks; 7.5 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg administered once every 3 weeks through intravenous
Metastatic breast cancer
– The following doses are usually prescribed to treat metastatic breast cancer:
10 mg / kg of body weight, administered once every 2 weeks; or the dosage of 15 mg/kg body weight
once every 3 weeks, given by infusion into a
Non-small cell Lung cancer (NSCLC)
– in the treatment of NSCLC, Avastin is given in combination with a p
up to 6 cycles of treatment, followed by an Avastin monochemotherapy ( avastin only) until
remission. The recommendation is 7.5 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg body weight given once every 3 weeks by
Advanced or metastatic
kidney cancer – if you have an
advanced kidney cancer, the dosage of Avastin that your doctor can recommend is 10 mg/kg of body
weight, given once every 2 weeks by intravenous infusion.
In addition to the
cancers mentioned above, the medication can also be used in the treatment
of age-related macular degeneration and other forms of cancers such as:
- non-metastatic unresectable liver
- metastatic or unresectable locally
advanced pancreatic cancer
multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of primary brain tumor.
Dosage: Avastin is an intravenous drug, so you will be receiving each dose from a
health care professional; you won’t be able to give a dose of Avastin to
yourself. Patients are usually given more than
one dose of Avastin over the course of several treatments. Your first treatment session may last up to 90 minutes;
later treatment sessions may be over in less time. Depending on your response to the drug, your treatment
schedule may be changed or adjusted.
excessive dose is strictly prohibited. Avastin
overdose causes severe migraine and other health problems. If you experience symptoms related to
overdose during the treatment, call your doctor or pharmacist right away.
At this time, there are no drugs, herbs, or supplements known to interact with
Avastin. However, it is possible for certain
products to interfere with the effectiveness of this medication, so you should tell your doctor
about any other herbs, drugs, or supplements you are using.
Contraindications: Certain medical conditions
These conditions include, but are not limited to: recent major surgery, fistula, stomach or
intestinal ulcers, recent bloody vomit, or coughing up blood, kidney disease, high blood pressure,
heart disease, or blood clots. Because this is not a complete list of contraindications, you should
talk to your doctor before beginning to take Avastin.
It is important to have the advice of your doctor before taking vitamins, nutritional supplements or over-the-counter
Avastin can bring good results in some cancer patients; however, it tends to cause adverse effects,
which can be serious. The most common Avastin side effects include:
redness, itching, or scaling of the skin
Sores on the skin or in the mouth
cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor
immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
- severe depression
shortness of breath
loss of vision
black or bloody stools
dry, hacking cough
severe vaginal bleeding
slow or difficult speech
weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
dizziness, faintness or confusion
coughing, gagging, or choking
Severe headache (which can be a sign of overdose)
Pain or swelling of the face, eyes, stomach
Pain or swelling on the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs