Bendamustine Injection : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Bendamustine injection is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL, a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Bendamustine injection is also used to treat a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL: cancer that begins in a type of white blood cell that normally fights infection) that spreads slowly but has worsened during or after treatment with another medicine. . Bendamustine belongs to a class of medications called alkylating agents. It works by killing existing cancer cells and limiting the growth of new cancer cells.
How should this medicine be used?
Bendamustine comes as a solution (liquid) or as a powder to mix with liquid and inject intravenously (into a vein) for 10 minutes or infuse intravenously for 30 or 60 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a medical office or in a hospital outpatient clinic. When bendamustine injection is used to treat CLL, it is usually injected once daily for 2 days, followed by 26 days when the medicine is not administered. This treatment period is called a cycle, and the cycle can be repeated every 28 days for up to 6 cycles. When bendamustine injection is used to treat NHL, it is usually injected once daily for 2 days, followed by 19 days when the medicine is not administered. This treatment cycle can be repeated every 21 days for up to 8 cycles.
Your doctor may need to delay your treatment and adjust your dose if you experience certain side effects. Your doctor may also give you other medications to prevent or treat certain side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you feel during your treatment with bendamustine injection.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving bendamustine injection,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bendamustine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in bendamustine injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: ciprofloxacin (Cipro), fluvoxamine (Luvox, and omeprazole (Prilosec). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may interact with bendamustine. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that are not listed here.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a cytomegalovirus infection (CMV; a viral infection that can cause symptoms in patients with weak immune systems), infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV; an ongoing liver infection) , tuberculosis (TB; a serious infection that affects the lungs and sometimes other parts of the body), herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past), or kidney or liver disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. You or your partner should not become pregnant while receiving bendamustine injection. You or your partner should use a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with bendamustine injection and for 3 months afterward. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you or your partner becomes pregnant while receiving bendamustine injection, call your doctor. Bendamustine injection can harm the fetus.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with bendamustine.
- You should know that bendamustine injection can tire you out. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Smoking can decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Call your doctor right away if you are unable to keep an appointment to receive a dose of bendamustine injection.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Bendamustine injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain or swelling
- sores or white patches in the mouth
- dry mouth
- bad taste in the mouth or difficulty tasting food
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- back, bone, joint, arm or leg pain
- dry skin
- night sweats
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- pain in the place where the medication was injected
- blistering or peeling skin
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- fast heartbeat
- excessive tiredness or weakness
- pale skin
- fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
- nausea; vomiting; unusual bleeding or bruising; yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, or light colored stool; tenderness on the right upper side of the stomach
Bendamustine injection can cause infertility in some men. This infertility can end after treatment, can last for several years, or can be permanent. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving this medication.
Some people developed other types of cancer while using bendamustine injection. There is not enough information to determine whether bendamustine injection caused the development of these cancers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving this medication.
Bendamustine injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response to the bendamustine injection.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.