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Bleomycin can result in serious or even fatal lung issues. Patients who are older and using higher dosages of this medicine may experience severe lung difficulties more frequently. If you have lung disease now or ever had it, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: Shortness of breath, wheezing, fever, or chills are symptoms of breathing difficulties.
Some lymphoma patients who had bleomycin injections experienced severe adverse reactions. Following the administration of the first or second dose of bleomycin, this reaction could happen right away or several hours later. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: breathing issues, fever, chills, dizziness, fainting, nausea, upset stomach, or confusion.
Each pharmaceutical dose will be administered to you in a medical setting, and both during and after the administration of the medication, your health will be closely monitored by your doctor.
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how well your body is responding to bleomycin, your doctor will prescribe a few tests.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Treatment for head and neck cancer, as well as cancers of the penis, testicles, cervix, and vulva, involves the use of bleomycin injection, either by itself or in combination with other drugs (the outer part of the vagina). Along with other drugs, bleomycin is also used to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) and non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s (cancer that starts in immune system cells). Additionally, it is utilised to treat pleural effusions, which are malignant tumors-related lung fluid accumulations. Only chemotherapy for cancer patients uses the antibiotic type bleomycin. Cancer cell growth in your body is slowed or stopped by it.
How should this medicine be used?
In a medical office or hospital outpatient department, a doctor or nurse will mix bleomycin powder with liquid before injecting it intravenously (into a vein), intramuscularly (into a muscle), or subcutaneously (under the skin). Once or twice a week, it is often injected. To treat pleural effusions, bleomycin is combined with fluids and injected into the chest cavity through a chest tube (plastic tube that is placed in the chest cavity through a cut in the skin).
Other uses for this medicine
Additionally, Kaposi’s sarcoma associated with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is occasionally treated with bleomycin (AIDS). The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking bleomycin,
- If you have an allergy to bleomycin or any of the ingredients in bleomycin injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements you are currently taking or intend to take. Your doctor may need to keep a close eye out for any negative effects.
- Inform your doctor if you have renal or lung problems now or ever had it.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Pregnancy should not occur while a patient is taking bleomycin injection. Call your doctor if you fall pregnant while taking bleomycin. The foetus may suffer from bleomycin.
- Inform the surgeon or dentist if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, that you are getting bleomycin.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Call your physician as soon as you can if you fail to show up for a bleomycin appointment.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects are possible with bleomycin. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Skin that is irritated, swollen, sensitive, or thickened
- Darker skin tone
- Hair fall
- Bruises on the tongue or lips
- Reduced appetite
- Loss of weight
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs or any of those in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:
- One side of the body experiences a sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg.
- Abrupt difficulty speaking or understanding
- Abrupt wooziness loss of coordination or balance
- Acutely painful headache
- Chest discomfort
- Less urinations
Other negative effects of bleomycin are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.