Brand Names: Velcade
Generic Name: bortezomib
- What is bortezomib (Velcade)?
- What are the possible side effects of bortezomib (Velcade)?
- What is the most important information I should know about bortezomib (Velcade)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving bortezomib (Velcade)?
- How is bortezomib given (Velcade)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Velcade)?
- What happens if I overdose (Velcade)?
- What should I avoid while receiving bortezomib (Velcade)?
- What other drugs will affect bortezomib (Velcade)?
- Where can I get more information (Velcade)?
What is bortezomib (Velcade)?
Bortezomib interferes with the growth of some cancer cells and keeps them from spreading in your body.
Bortezomib may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of bortezomib (Velcade)?
Bortezomib may cause a serious viral infection of the brain that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have a severe headache, buzzing in your ears, vision problems, weakness, confusion, thinking problems, or a seizure (convulsions).
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
- new or worsening nerve problems such as numbness, burning, pain, weakness, or tingly feeling;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- severe or ongoing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;
- fever with shortness of breath or trouble breathing;
- dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
- low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath;
- liver problems--right-sided stomach pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- signs of congestive heart failure--shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling in your lower legs, rapid weight gain, cough with mucus, fast heartbeats, sleep problems; or
- signs of tumor cell breakdown--muscle cramps, tiredness, fast or slow heart rate, fluttering in your chest, decreased urination, tingling around your mouth.
Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.
Common side effects may include:
- numbness or tingly feeling;
- loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting;
- diarrhea, constipation;
- fever, chills, cold or flu symptoms;
- rash; or
- feeling tired.
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)?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving bortezomib (Velcade)?
You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to bortezomib, mannitol, or boron.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- nerve problems such as numbness, tingling, or burning pain;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease, or if you are on dialysis;
- a low level of platelets or white or red blood cells;
- heart disease, congestive heart failure;
- lung disease or breathing problems;
- herpes or shingles (herpes zoster);
- high or low blood pressure; or
- if you are dehydrated.
You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.
Bortezomib can harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, whether you are a man or a woman. The use of this medicine by either parent may cause birth defects.
Keep using birth control for at least 2 months after your last dose of bortezomib. Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using this medicine.
This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in both men and women. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because bortezomib may harm the baby if a pregnancy does occur.
You should not breast-feed while using this medicine and for at least 2 months after your last dose.
How is bortezomib given (Velcade)?
Bortezomib is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
You may be given medication to prevent nausea or vomiting while you are receiving bortezomib.
Bortezomib can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Your liver function and nerve function may also need to be checked.
What happens if I miss a dose (Velcade)?
Call your doctor for instructions if you will miss an appointment for your bortezomib injection.
What happens if I overdose (Velcade)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving bortezomib (Velcade)?
Avoid becoming dehydrated if you have any vomiting or diarrhea. Talk with your doctor about how best to keep yourself hydrated.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
This medicine may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
What other drugs will affect bortezomib (Velcade)?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Many drugs can affect bortezomib. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information (Velcade)?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about bortezomib.
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