Avastin

(bevacizumab)

Skip to: what to expect sectionSkip to: side effects sectionSkip to: risks and warnings sectionSkip to: common concerns from users and pharmacists

Treats several types of cancers.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Avastin (bevacizumab) is an effective, first-line option when used together with other medicines for certain types of cancers, but it has to be given in a clinic or hospital and it has many severe side effects.

Quick facts about Avastin
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • In studies, taking Avastin (bevacizumab) extended lives in the treatment of different types of cancers compared to people not taking Avastin (bevacizumab).
  • The first drug in its class to be approved by the FDA that was shown to slow tumor growth and extend lives.
  • Treats certain types of brain, cervical, colorectal, lung, and kidney cancers.
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) is first-choice treatment for lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer (metastatic, taken with chemotherapy), and second-choice treatment for other cancers.
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) is typically given every 2 to 3 weeks and can be given along with other chemotherapy during the same visit.
Tried Avastin? Write a review!
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Downsides

  • If you have heart or kidney problems, Avastin (bevacizumab) may increase your risk of side effects.
  • It may take longer for you to heal. Avastin (bevacizumab) shouldn't be used for 28 days before and after surgery.
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) can cause blood clots and bleeding.
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) in some cases can damage the ovaries. Talk to your doctor before starting Avastin (bevacizumab) if you're pregnant or planning for pregnancy.
  • There's no generic available so it can be expensive.
How it works

Avastin (bevacizumab) is a monoclonal antibody. It cuts the blood supply to tumors and stops the growth of cancer.

Quick facts about Avastin
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Dosage forms

  • Injection
Tried Avastin? Write a review!
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

What to expect when you take Avastin (bevacizumab) for Cancer

Skip what to expect section. Skip to side effects section.
Skip side effects section. Skip to risks and warnings section.

Side effect rates for Avastin (bevacizumab)

Risks and Warnings for Avastin (bevacizumab)

Skip risks section. Skip to common concerns section.
    • Higher risk if:
    • First 50 days after starting Avastin (bevacizumab)

    Avastin (bevacizumab) can cause tears in your stomach or intestine which can be very dangerous. Talk to your doctor if you experience pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever. This is more likely during the first 6-8 weeks of treatment.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Avastin (bevacizumab)

Final section. Do you want to return to drug navigation?
Kidneys and liver
  • Treats certain types of brain, cervical, colorectal, lung, and kidney cancers.
  • If you have heart or kidney problems, Avastin (bevacizumab) may increase your risk of side effects.
Pain
  • While the risk is low, Avastin (bevacizumab) can increase your risk of serious blood clots leading to stroke, heart attack and angina. Call your doctor right away and get medical care if you have chest pain or pressure, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, trouble speaking or swallowing, or swelling, warmth, numbness, color change, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) can increase your risk of getting a blood clot. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you have chest pain or pressure, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, trouble speaking or swallowing, or swelling/warmth/numbness/color change/pain in a leg or arm.
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) can increase chances of infection. Talk to your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, increased sputum or change in color, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or a wound that will not heal. Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines.