Treats many different types of cancer, sometimes in combination with other medicines.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
- A nurse or other caregiver trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatment.
- If you have your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.
- If you have your treatments at home, you may need to store your medicine. Keep the liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Bleomycin that has been mixed (with other liquid) for your IV can be kept at room temperature and should be used within 24 hours.
- Do not get the medicine on your skin. If it does get on your skin, wash the area well with soap and water, and tell your caregiver.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or clinic where you get your treatments for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Throw away any unused medicine if the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
- If you have your treatments at home, you should be given a special container for the used needles, medicine bags or bottles, and tubes. Put it where children and pets cannot reach it.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking while you are using this medicine.
- Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
- Avoid taking aspirin or any products that contain aspirin (such as some cold medicines) unless you have talked to your doctor.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Do not breastfeed while you are getting this medicine.
- Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you have lung, liver, or kidney disease.
- Before you have any kind of surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are receiving bleomycin.
- This medicine often causes dark patches on your skin or nails. Tell your doctor if this happens, and keep these areas clean. You may need cream or pain medicine if blisters develop.
- You may get infections more easily while being treated with this medicine. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
- This medicine may make your mouth sore and irritated. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush or mouth swab.
- This medicine can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
- Do not get pregnant while you or your sexual partner are being treated with bleomycin. Use an effective form of birth control while getting this medicine.
- If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Wheezing, dry cough, or trouble breathing
- Unusual or painful skin changes or rash
- Mouth sores
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Hair loss
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
- Weight loss
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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