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What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
There is a maximum amount of this medicine you should receive throughout your life. The amount depends on the medical condition being treated and your overall health. Your doctor will watch how much of this medicine you receive in your lifetime. Tell your doctor if you have taken this medicine before.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Fever and chills (occurring within 3 to 6 hours after a dose)
Chest pain (sudden severe)
weakness in arms or legs (sudden)
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
shortness of breath
sores in mouth and on lips
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Darkening or thickening of skin
dark stripes on skin
itching of skin
skin rash or colored bumps on fingertips, elbows, or palms
skin redness or tenderness
swelling of fingers
vomiting and loss of appetite
Changes in fingernails or toenails
Bleomycin may cause a temporary loss of hair in some people. After treatment has ended, normal hair growth should return, although it may take several months.
Side effects that affect your lungs (for example, cough and shortness of breath) may be more likely to occur if you smoke.
After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
shortness of breath
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.