Are there any risks in taking Avastin (bevacizumab)?

Avastin (bevacizumab) can cause a side effect known as an infusion reaction, which typically occurs within several hours after treatment and causes lightheadedness, chest pain, chills, fever, difficulty breathing, and fainting.

Several serious medical conditions are associated with the use of Avastin, including increased risk of blood clots and bleeding problems, and increased risk of infection from prolonged or incomplete healing of wounds. Avastin can also cause serious digestive problems, such as ulcers and gastrointestinal perforation (a hole in the wall of the stomach or intestine) or tracheoesophageal fistula (a hole that develops between the trachea and esophagus). Finally, Avastin increases your risk of a stroke-like brain condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS).

Risks of Avastin (bevacizumab) include bleeding. For this reason, it is not usually used in people who:
  • have cancer that has spread to the brain
  • are coughing up blood
  • are on blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin)
This drug can also cause blood clotting problems such as strokes.

Bevacizumab is also not usually recommended for people with squamous cell cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.