AVASTIN is used to treat;
AVASTIN contains the active ingredient bevacizumab.
AVASTIN belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-neoplastic (or anti-cancer) agents. There are many different classes of anti-neoplastic agents. AVASTIN belongs to a class known as anti-angiogenic agents.
Anti-angiogenic agents inhibit angiogenesis (the process of forming new blood vessels in your body).
AVASTIN selectively binds to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein found on the cells that line blood vessels. Tumours produce high levels of VEGF, which stimulates blood vessels to grow, thereby providing the tumour with nutrients and oxygen.
When AVASTIN blocks VEGF it disrupts the blood supply to the tumour, stopping or slowing down its growth.
There are many different types of medicines used to treat brain tumours and metastatic cancer of the large bowel, breast, lung and kidney.
Your doctor may have prescribed AVASTIN for another purpose.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why AVASTIN has been prescribed for you.
AVASTIN is not addictive.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Do not use AVASTIN if:
1. you have had an allergic reaction to AVASTIN or any ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
2. you have had an allergic reaction to any proteins that are of Chinese hamster origin or to other recombinant human or humanised antibodies
3. the package is torn or shows signs of tampering
4. the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
If you are not sure if you should be given AVASTIN, talk to your doctor.
Do not give AVASTIN to children and adolescents.
Safety and effectiveness in children and adolescents have not been established.
Tell your doctor if:
1. you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
2. you plan to start a family in the future
3. you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
4. you have any other health problems, especially the following:
5. you have had major surgery within the last 28 days or have a wound that has not healed properly
6. you have had a blocked lung artery (pulmonary embolism)
7. you have ever received anthracyclines (e.g. doxorubicin), a specific type of chemotherapy used to treat some cancers, or have had radiotherapy to your chest AVASTIN can increase the risk of developing a weak heart.
8. if you have or have had pain in the mouth, teeth and/or jaw, swelling or sores inside the mouth, numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw, or loosening of a tooth tell your doctor immediately.
9. you are 65 years of age or older
10. you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking AVASTIN.
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you have bought from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Tell your doctor if you have recently received, or are receiving, radiotherapy.
Tell your doctor if you have recently received, or are receiving, a bisphosphonate (for example medicines containing ibandronate sodium, zoledronic acid or disodium pamidronate).
Some medicines may interfere with AVASTIN.
Some medicines may be affected by AVASTIN, or may affect how well it works. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking AVASTIN.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about this list of medicines.
AVASTIN solution is prepared by a health care professional.
AVASTIN is given by infusion into a vein (intravenous infusion) by a health care professional.
The first infusion is usually given over 90 minutes. If it is well tolerated the second infusion may be given over 60 minutes. Later infusions may be given over 30 minutes.
Your dose depends on your body weight and the type of cancer to be treated. AVASTIN can be given either once every 2 weeks or once every 3 weeks. Your doctor will prescribe a dose of AVASTIN that is right for you.
If you have been given too much AVASTIN you may develop a severe migraine. If this happens tell your health care professional immediately.
The number of infusions you will receive depends on how you are responding to treatment. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
Your doctor will decide when you should be given your next dose of AVASTIN.
Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are being treated with AVASTIN.
Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant during treatment with AVASTIN, or plan to start a family in the near future.
Tell your doctor immediately if you are breast-feeding while being treated with AVASTIN.
Tell your doctor if you are planning to have surgery or you have a wound that is not healing properly.
Tell your doctor if you need to undergo an invasive dental treatment or dental surgery, in particular when you are also receiving or have received a bisphosphonate (for example medicines containing ibandronate sodium, zoledronic acid or disodium pamidronate)
Tell your doctor if you feel AVASTIN is not helping your condition.
Be sure to keep all of your appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be checked.
Do not take any other medicines whether they require a prescription or not without first telling your doctor or consulting a pharmacist.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how AVASTIN affects you.
AVASTIN has not been shown to impair your ability to drive or operate machinery.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while being treated with AVASTIN.
AVASTIN helps most people with brain tumours and cancer of the large bowel (i.e. colon or rectum), breast, lung, kidney and ovary / fallopian tube (which can extend to the lining of surrounding organs such as stomach, liver) but it may have unwanted side effects in some people.
All medicines can have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you being treated with AVASTIN against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Because AVASTIN is used with other medicines that treat cancer (including chemotherapy), it may be difficult for your doctor to tell whether the side effects are due to AVASTIN or due to other medicines.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
These are the more common side effects of AVASTIN. Mostly these are mild.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor or dentist if you experience pain in the mouth, teeth and/or jaw, swelling or sores inside the mouth, loosening of a tooth, or numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw. These could be signs and symptoms of bone damage in the jaw (osteonecrosis).
Some side effects are more common in elderly patients. These include blood clots in the arteries, which can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. In addition, elderly patients have a higher risk of a reduction in the number of white cells in the blood and cells that help the blood clot. Other side effects reported with a higher frequency in elderly patients were diarrhoea, sickness, headache and fatigue.
There have been very rare reports of abnormal tube-like connections between internal organs and skin or other tissues that are not normally connected.
There have been very rare reports of patients developing a hole in the septum of the nose, the structure that separates the nostrils. Symptoms may include nose bleeds, nasal congestion or infection, or whistling sounds when breathing.
AVASTIN is not approved for use in the eye. The following side effects may also occur if AVASTIN is injected directly into the eye:
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.
AVASTIN will be stored in the pharmacy or on the hospital ward in a refrigerator at a temperature between 2-8°C.
AVASTIN is for single use only.
The vials should be used once only and any remaining contents should be discarded.
AVASTIN is available as 100 mg and 400 mg single-dose vials.
AVASTIN is a clear to slightly opaque, colourless to pale brown solution.
AVASTIN is distributed by:
Roche Products Pty Limited
ABN 70 000 132 865
4-10 Inman Road
Dee Why NSW 2099
Customer enquiries: 1800 233 950
Please check with your pharmacist for the latest Consumer Medicine Information.
Australian Registration Numbers
100 mg/4 mL AUST R 99755
400 mg/16 mL AUST R 99757
This leaflet was prepared on 1 July 2013