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Avastin

What is Avastin

Avastin is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Avastin interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Avastin is used in the treatment of cancers of the colon and rectum.

Avastin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Avastin

Avastin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of Avastin including: severe allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; hives; and low blood pressure); stomach problems (holes in the stomach or intestines); bleeding problems (nosebleeds; bleeding in the lungs, stomach, or head); poor wound healing or wound reopening; severe high blood pressure; kidney problems; heart problems; stroke; chest pain; and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with Avastin.

Do not have surgery without first talking to your doctor during or in the month following treatment with Avastin. Wound healing may be poor during and immediately following treatment with Avastin, possibly resulting in bleeding or infection. It may be necessary to stop treatment with Avastin for a period of time if surgery is necessary.

What you should discuss with your doctor before using Avastin

Do not have surgery without first talking to your doctor during or in the month following treatment with Avastin. Wound healing may be poor during and immediately following treatment with Avastin, possibly resulting in bleeding or infection. It may be necessary to stop treatment with Avastin for a period of time if surgery is necessary.

Before using Avastin, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- heart disease or high blood pressure;
- a history of stroke, transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), or bleeding in the brain; or
- an open wound.

You may not be able to use Avastin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Avastin is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Avastin will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use Avastin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment with Avastin if necessary.

It is not known whether Avastin passes into breast milk. Do not take Avastin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Avastin. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

How should you use Avastin

Avastin should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Avastin is administered as an intravenous (into the vein) infusion. Most often, Avastin is administered in a hospital or clinic setting. If you are administering Avastin at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions regarding preparation, administration, and storage of the medication.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with Avastin depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with Avastin to monitor progress and side effects.

Your healthcare provider will store Avastin as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing Avastin at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

If you miss a dose:

Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of Avastin.

What happens if you overdose:

If an overdose of Avastin is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Symptoms of a Avastin overdose are not well known but may include headache.

What should you avoid while using Avastin

Do not have surgery without first talking to your doctor during or in the month following treatment with Avastin. Wound healing may be poor during and immediately following treatment with Avastin, possibly resulting in bleeding or infection. It may be necessary to stop treatment with Avastin for a period of time if surgery is necessary.

Possible side effects of Avastin

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of Avastin including: severe allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; hives; and low blood pressure); stomach problems (perforation of the stomach or intestines); bleeding problems (nosebleeds; bleeding in the lungs, stomach, or head); poor wound healing or wound reopening; severe high blood pressure; kidney problems; heart problems; stroke; chest pain; and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with Avastin.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from Avastin, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain (may indicate stomach problems);
- leukopenia (an abnormal lowering of the white blood cell count). Symptoms of leukopenia including fever or signs of infection;
- proteinuria (the presence of excessive amounts of protein in the urine);
- nosebleed, coughing up blood, blood in vomit or stools, dizziness, loss of consciousness, severe weakness or paralysis (may indicate bleeding problems such as bleeding in the lungs, stomach, or head);
- poor wound healing;
- redness of the face, severe headache (may indicate severe high blood pressure);
- little or no urine production (may indicate kidney problems);
- chest pain, difficulty breathing, swelling or water retention (may indicate heart problems);
- redness, pain, or swelling of the leg (may indicate blood clot in the leg); or
- chest pain or shortness of breath (may indicate blood clot in the lung).

Other, less serious side effects may also occur. Continue to use Avastin and talk to your doctor if you experience:
- diarrhea;
- nausea or decreased appetite;
- weakness;
- headache;
- dizziness;
- skin rash;
- swelling of the tongue or sores in the mouth; or
- hair loss.

Side effects other than those listed here have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with Avastin.

What other drugs will affect Avastin

Other medications may interact with Avastin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with Avastin.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
E
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
F
fabrazyme famotidine fazaclo fenofibrate fioricet fiorinal flexeril flomax flonase flovent fluoxetine fosamax fosrenol furosemide  
G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
macrobid magnevist meclizine medroxyprogesterone meridia metformin methadone methamphetamine methotrexate methylphenidate methylprednisolone metoclopramide metoprolol metronidazole miacalcin minocycline mobic monopril morphine motrin myfortic  
N
naproxen nasacort nasonex natrecor neulasta neupogen neurontin nexium nifedipine nitrofurantoin norco nortriptyline norvasc  
O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
paraplatin patanol paxil pegasys penicillin pepcid percocet percodan percogesic phendimetrazine phenergan phentermine phenytoin plavix plendil potassium pravachol prednisone premarin prempro prevacid prilosec prinivil procrit promethazine propecia propofol propoxyphene propranolol protonix proventil provigil prozac pseudoephedrine pulmicort  
R
ranitidine rebetol reglan relafen relpax remeron remicade renagel renova rhinocort riomet risperdal risperidone ritalin rituxan rocephin rogaine roxicet  
S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
tamoxifen tavist taxol taxotere tegretol temazepam tenormin tenuate tequin terazosin tetracycline tiazac tindamax titralac tobradex topamax toprol tramadol trazodone triamcinolone triaminic triamterene tricor trileptal trimox triphasil trizivir truvada tylenol 
U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
valium valtrex vaniqa vasotec velcade verapamil viagra vicodin vicoprofen vidaza viracept viread vytorin  
W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
xalatan xanax xenical xifaxan xolair xopenex xyrem  
Y
yasmin 
Z
zanaflex zantac zavesca zelnorm zemplar zerit zestoretic zestril zetia ziac zithromax zocor zofran zoladex zoloft zometa zorbtive zosyn zovirax zyrtec zyvox