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Avelumab

Generic Name: Avelumab ([aVEL-uemab])
Brand name: Bavencio
Intravenous Solution (20 mg/mL)
Drug class: monoclonal anti-PD-1 (immune-checkpoint inhibitors),

What is Avelumab?

Avelumab can be used to treat a form of cancer known as Merkel cell carcinoma in adults and children aged at least 12 years.Avelumab can also be used to treat certain types of bladder cancer or urinary tract cancer that have spread or are not able to be removed by surgery. Avelumab can be used to treat this condition if platinum cancer drugs have failed or stopped working.Avelumab can also be used in combination with axitinib or alone to treat advanced renal cancer that has spread and cannot be removed by surgery.Avelumab can be used in other ways not mentioned in this guide.

Side effects of Avelumab

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your lips, face, tongue, or throat.Some side effects can occur during the injection. You should tell your carer if you experience any of the following: lightheadedness, itching, fever, chills, stomach ach p or difficulty breathing.Avelumab causes your immune system to attack tumour cells. Avelumab can cause your immune system to attack healthy tissues and organs in your body. These side effects could be life-threatening or serious for your lungs.

Avelumab may cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Sudden chest pain or discomfort
  • Severe stomach pain, diarrhoea, or bloody or tarry stool;
  • Rash with blistering or peeling of skin
  • If you feel your heart fluttering or pounding, then this is what it means.
  • Flu-like symptoms;
  • Pain or burning after urinating;
  • Joint pain, weakness
  • Vision changes
  • Liver problems: loss of appetite, upper abdominal pain, fatigue, easy bruising, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, jaundice (yellowing skin or eyes);
  • Heart problems: chest pain, pressure, or pain that spreads to the jaw or shoulder. Sweating.
  • Kidney problems: little or no urine, pink or red urine, swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Signs of hormonal disorders include: feeling light-headed; being very tired; having rapid heartbeats or mood changes; having a deepened voice; experiencing increased hunger or thirst; or experiencing increased urination. Other symptoms are hair loss, sweating or cold feelings, and constipation or vomiting.

Some of the most common side effects associated with avelumab include:

  • Hoarse voice;
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Trouble speaking
  • Pain, blisters, bleeding, or a severe rash in the palms or soles of the feet
  • Dry mouth; bad breath;
  • Severe headache; blurred vision; or pounding in the neck and ears
  • Painful urination
  • Symptoms include nausea and diarrhoea.
  • Feeling tired
  • Chills, fever;
  • Muscle pain, back pain, bone pain;
  • Rash;
  • You may experience swelling in your hands or feet.
  • Redness or swelling at the site of injection;
  • Liver problems
  • Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include fatigue, depression, dry skin, hair thinning, increased weight, puffiness on your face, and sensitivity to cold temperatures.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. The FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.

Warnings

Avelumab causes your immune system to attack tumour cells. Avelumab can cause your immune system to attack healthy tissues and organs in your body. This can cause serious or even life-threatening effects on your thyroid, adrenal glands, lungs, liver, and pancreas.Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms. Fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, weakness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe stomach or diarrhoea pain, skin rash or swelling, increased or decreased urine, blood in your stools or urine, weight change, hair loss or unusual bleeding, dark coloured urine, or jaundice

Before you take this drug

Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • A condition that affects the nervous system, such as myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barre syndrome;
  • An immune disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • A breathing disorder or lung disease;
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Heart problems or high blood pressure
  • High-cholesterol
  • Diabetes;
  • An organ transplant;
  • If you have or will be receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor,

Do not take avelumab while pregnant. It can harm your unborn child or cause birth defects. Use birth control to avoid pregnancy during your treatment with avelumab and for at least one month afterwards.While taking this medication and for at least one month after the last dose, you should not breastfeed.

How to take Avelumab?

Avelumab infusions are given into a vein once or twice a week. This injection will be given by a healthcare provider.Avelumab should be administered slowly, and an IV infusion may take up to 60 minutes.Other medications may be prescribed to you in order to avoid certain side effects that may occur during your infusion.Your doctor may want to perform frequent tests to monitor your liver or heart function and determine the length of treatment.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you are unable to attend your appointment, call your doctor and ask for instructions.

What happens if I overdose?

Overdoses are unlikely because avelumab will be administered by a healthcare provider in a medical environment.

Aviod this

If your doctor prescribes any restrictions regarding food, beverage, or activity, follow their instructions.

Interaction with other drug

Avelumab may be affected by other drugs, such as vitamins and herbal products. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking and those that you stop or start using.

 

DRUG STATUS

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Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

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