|What is Avastin used for?
Avastin is used with intravenous 5-FU based chemotherapy (IFL) as the
first-treatment for patients with metastatic colon cancer (cancer of the
colon or rectum that has spread to other areas of the body).
IFL is a commonly used chemotherapy (medicine used to kill cancer
cells) combination containing irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and
leucovorin for the treatment of colon cancer.
Avastin will not cure colorectal cancer
that has spread. Overall,
patients given Avastin plus intravenous 5-FU based chemotherapy had more
tumors that shrank and survived about five months longer than patients
given only intravenous 5-FU based chemotherapy. In addition, the average
time before tumors restarted growing or new tumors appeared was four
months longer than patients who were given only intravenous 5-FU based
Special Warning(s) with Avastin:
may cause gastrointestinal perforation (holes in the stomach,
intestines or colon) requiring surgery to repair.
may impair wound healing or cause wounds to open up.
Avastin should not be started for at least 28 days
following major surgery and full wound healing, and should be stopped
before a scheduled surgery.
patients with non–small cell lung cancer (for which Avastin is not
approved) treated with chemotherapy and Avastin had bleeding from the
lung tumor, spitting up of blood, leading to death.
may cause a severe increase in blood pressure so patients receiving
Avastin should have their blood pressure checked regularly.
may cause proteinuria (protein in the urine, a sign of kidney damage).
may cause congestive heart failure (failure of the heart to pump blood
General Precautions with Avastin:
should be used with caution in patients who are allergic to Avastin or
to any of the ingredients in Avastin
may cause severe infusion reactions such as trouble breathing during
the first or later doses
What should I tell my health
Tell your health care provider if you:
or had liver or kidney problems
high blood pressure
congestive heart failure or other heart problems
pregnant, are trying to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
you have recently had surgery or are planning to have surgery
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take,
including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and
herbal supplements. Some
medicines may affect how Avastin works or Avastin may affect how your
other medicines work.
What are some possible side
effects of Avastin? (This list
is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Avastin.
Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list
of side effects.)
Serious side effects include of Avastin treatment include:
dangerously high increase in blood pressure
More common side effects of Avastin treatment include:
white blood cells
in the urine
For more detailed information
about Avastin, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.