Generic Name: bevacizumab

Brand Name: Avastin

Manufacturer: Genentech

Drug Functionality:

Indicated as a treatment for certain types of brain tumors and cancers of the kidney, lung, colon, and rectum that are metastatic, Avastin is classified as an angiogenesis inhibitor because it slows the development of new blood cells.   Given intravenously, Avastin interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Dosage:

Dosage should be followed as per the prescription and any alterations to the medication should be done only under medical supervision.  Cancer cell type and additional drug administration determines dosing.

  • 1st treatment is give over a 90 minute period; 2nd treatment is given over a 60 minute period if the first dosage is tolerated; additional treatments are given over a 30 minute period if each subsequent dosage is tolerated.
  • Dosage is anywhere between 5 mg/kg to 15 mg/kg over given either every two or three weeks.
  • Treatment continues until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity occurs.

Precautions:

Patients who also suffer from any of the following conditions should consult with the doctor before taking this medicine:

  • if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies
  • if you have stomach/intestinal ulcers, recent bloody vomiting or coughing up blood, recent major surgery, a fistula (an abnormal tunnel connecting two body cavities such as the bladder
  • and the vagina)
  • if you have had surgery less than 28 days (including dental) prior to beginning medication
  • if you plan on receiving immunizations/vaccinations; avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine
  • use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured
  • if you think you are pregnant or may become pregnant or are breast feeding while on this medication
  • if you have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease or blood clots (arterial vessels),  or kidney disease

Side Effects Common Side Effects:

  • Back pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth/Increased Thirst
  • Dry Skin
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like Symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nausea/Vomiting

Serious Side Effects:

If you are taking Avastin and experience any of the following side effects, contact your doctor or health provider immediately:

Severe Allergic Reaction (rash, hives, swelling of the mouth, face, or tongue)

  • Black, Tarry Stools
  • Blood in the Urine
  • Chest Pain
  • Coughing Blood
  • Seizures
  • Stomach Pain
  • Unusual Bruising
  • Unusual/Rapid Weight Gain or Weight Loss
  • Vision Changes

The following conditions are BLACK BOX WARNINGS (the most severe warnings prescribed by the FDA).  Avastin patients should keep a check on the following:

  1. Wound Healing Complications

    Studies have linked Avastin (bevacizumab) with wound healing complications such as surgical site bleeding and wound infection.  Patients receiving Avastin along with chemotherapy experienced a 15% increase in wound healing or bleeding complications compared to those only receiving chemotherapy.  Patients should cease Avastin use 6-8 weeks or wait 28 days after ending Avastin use before having surgery.

  1. Gastrointestinal (GI) Perforation

    —Abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting are all symptoms of a gastrointestinal perforation, a hole that develops through the wall of the stomach, small intestine, large bowel or gallbladder.   Studies show those using Avastin are at a significantly increased risk of developing this condition in comparison to those not using Avastin.  This is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

  1. Hemorrhage

    —Caused by the rupture of a blood vessel, hemorrhages cause excessive bleeding.  Users of Avastin experience hemorrhages of the lungs, gastrointestinal area, central nervous system, and vaginal area.  This is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

Have you used Avastin and suffered a serious, life-threatening side effect?

 Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to Avastin’s side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit. The attorneys can help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation. You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered).

Different states have different legislation regarding medical lawsuits, so it is essential to hire an experienced and effective lawyer who can file the case. If you need further information about the harmful side effects of Avastin or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, we invite you to contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.