Avastin is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells by blocking the formation and growth of new blood vessels in the tumor which slows their growth.
Avastin is used to treat a certain type of brain tumor as well as cancers of the kidney, colon, rectum, lung, or breast. It is usually given as part of a combination of cancer medicines.
Avastin may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.
Most important: Avoid having surgery while you are being treated with Avastin. You may have problems with wound healing, which could result in bleeding or infection.
If you need to have any type of surgery, you will need to stop receiving Avastin for at least 4 weeks while your surgical incision heals.
Before being treated with Avastin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, a history of stroke or blood clots, or an open wound.
Some people receiving a Avastin injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, sweaty, itchy, or have a fast heartbeat, chills, wheezing, or chest pain during the injection.
Call your doctor at once if you have serious side effects such as blood in your stools or vomit, sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden headache or confusion, problems with vision or speech, chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, shortness of breath, swelling, rapid weight gain, or flu symptoms.
Avastin can cause a rare but serious neurologic disorder affecting the brain. Symptoms include headache, confusion, vision problems, feeling light-headed, fainting, and seizure (blackout or convulsions). These rare symptoms may occur within hours of your first dose of Avastin, or they may not appear for up to a year after your treatment started. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects.
To be sure Avastin is not causing harmful effects, your blood pressure will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your urine may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Avastin can affect a woman’s fertility (ability to have children). Talk to your doctor about your specific risks.