Therapeutic ClassificationsAntineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic ClassificationsAlkylating Agent
Bendamustine injection is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL, cancer of white blood cells) and indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in patients who have already received other treatments. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. Bendamustine belongs to a group of cancer medicines called alkylating agents.
Before you begin treatment with bendamustine, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits this medicine will have as well as the risks of using it.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, bendamustine is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
You will receive this medicine in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of bendamustine injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of bendamustine injection in the elderly.
|All Trimesters||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
- Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
- Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
- Varicella Virus Vaccine
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical ProblemsTOP
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Cancer (eg, acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, myeloproliferative disorders)—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
- Infection—May decrease your body's ability to fight infections.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant while you are receiving this medicine and for 3 months after stopping it. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Bendamustine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection (eg, pneumonia). It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of an infection or bleeding:
- If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor right away if you think you are getting an infection or if you have fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, shortness of breath, or unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have chills, fever, hives, hoarseness, itching, rash, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive the medicine.
This medicine may cause a serious type of reaction called tumor lysis syndrome. Your doctor may give you a medicine to help prevent this. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease or change in urine amount, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, a rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Serious skin reactions (including drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) may occur during treatment with bendamustine. Tell your doctor right away if you have shin rashes or blisters while receiving this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
This medicine may cause a permanent depression (necrosis) under the skin at the injection site. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects at the injection site: depressed or indented skin, blue-green to black skin discoloration, or pain, redness, or peeling of the skin.
Bendamustine may cause some people to feel unusually tired or weak. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
Do not smoke tobacco while you are using this medicine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.