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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Velcade

Generic Name: bortezomib (Pronunciation: bor TEZ oh mib)

What is bortezomib (Velcade)?

Bortezomib interferes with the growth of some cancer cells and keeps them from spreading in your body.

Bortezomib is used to treat multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.

Bortezomib is sometimes given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.

Bortezomib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of bortezomib (Velcade)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • new or worsening nerve problems such as numbness, burning, pain, weakness, or tingly feeling;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • dry cough and trouble breathing;
  • severe headache, vision problems, confusion, and/or seizure (convulsions);
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools, vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds;
  • severe constipation;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • red bumps, spreading skin rash, painful skin lesions on your arms, face, or neck;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, lower back pain, blood in your urine;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction, overactive reflexes; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
  • diarrhea, constipation, bloating;
  • headache, mild dizziness;
  • muscle pain, bone or joint pain;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • mild rash or itching; or
  • skin irritation where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about bortezomib (Velcade)?

Bortezomib can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Avoid becoming dehydrated if you have any vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, dry mouth, fainting, or hot and dry skin. Talk with your doctor about how best to keep yourself hydrated.

This medication may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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