Avastin is a brand name for the drug bevacizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody that is used to treat various types of cancers. It works by blocking the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and spread. While Avastin can be an effective treatment for cancer, it can also cause some long-term side effects.
One of the most significant long-term side effects of Avastin is an increased risk of bleeding. This is because Avastin can interfere with the body’s ability to form blood clots, which can lead to bleeding in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, or other parts of the body. This side effect can be particularly serious in patients who are already at risk for bleeding, such as those with a history of stroke or bleeding disorders.
Another potential long-term side effect of Avastin is hypertension, or high blood pressure. Avastin can cause blood vessels to constrict, which can increase blood pressure. This side effect can be particularly problematic in patients who already have high blood pressure, as it can make their condition worse.
Avastin can also cause kidney damage, which can lead to long-term kidney problems. This side effect is more common in patients who receive high doses of Avastin or who have pre-existing kidney disease.
In addition to these specific side effects, Avastin can also cause some more general side effects that can have long-term consequences. For example, Avastin can cause fatigue, which can persist even after treatment has ended. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can lead to malnutrition and weight loss over time.
Finally, Avastin can also cause some neurological side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, and confusion. While these side effects are generally mild and temporary, they can be more serious in some patients, particularly those with pre-existing neurological conditions.
It is worth noting that not all patients who receive Avastin will experience these long-term side effects, and the severity of the side effects can vary from patient to patient. Additionally, some patients may experience different or additional side effects not mentioned above.
It is important for patients who are receiving Avastin to discuss the potential side effects with their doctor and to report any new or worsening symptoms promptly. It is also important for patients to receive regular follow-up care after treatment with Avastin has ended to monitor for any long-term side effects.