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All about: Blenoxane

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Generic Name: Bleomycin (blee-oh-MY-sin)
Brand Name: Blenoxane

Severe breathing problems and lung disease can occur with Blenoxane , especially in elderly patients and those receiving more than a total dose of 400 units of Blenoxane . A severe reaction consisting of low blood pressure, mental confusion, chills, and wheezing has rarely occurred in patients who have lymphoma. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop any of these symptoms or if you develop cough, tightness in the chest, or any other breathing problems.

Blenoxane is used for:

Treating certain types of cancer, including testicular cancer, squamous cell cancer, Hodgkin disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is also used to treat or prevent fluid accumulation in the chest cavity caused by a tumor. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Blenoxane is an antineoplastic antibiotic. The way it works is not fully understood. It is thought to interfere with cell reproduction and growth, reducing the number of cancer cells in the body.

Do NOT use Blenoxane if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Blenoxane

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Blenoxane :

Some medical conditions may interact with Blenoxane . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver, kidney, or breathing problems, Raynaud phenomenon, or blood vessel problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Blenoxane . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cisplatin because the risk of side effects such as difficulty breathing may be increased
  • Digoxin or hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Blenoxane

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Blenoxane may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Blenoxane :

Use Blenoxane as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Blenoxane is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Blenoxane at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Blenoxane contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Blenoxane , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Blenoxane .

Important safety information:

  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Blenoxane .
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell counts, kidney and liver function tests, blood chemistry, chest X-rays, and lung function tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Blenoxane with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially lung and breathing problems.
  • Use Blenoxane with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Blenoxane has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while using Blenoxane . If you think you may pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Blenoxane during pregnancy. It is unknown if Blenoxane is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Blenoxane .

Possible side effects of Blenoxane :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Chills; confusion; dark bands in nails; hair loss; itching; loss of appetite; redness, darkening, or tenderness of the skin; sore mouth; tiredness; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in vision; cough; fever, chills, confusion, or wheezing; lightheadedness; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; pain, redness, or swelling at injection site; severe stomach pain; sharp or crushing chest pain; slurred speech; sudden leg pain; sudden, severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, or fainting; sudden shortness of breath.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Blenoxane :

Store Blenoxane in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Mixed medicine may be stored at room temperature, 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), for up to 24 hours. Keep Blenoxane out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Blenoxane , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Blenoxane is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Blenoxane . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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