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Treanda

(bendamustine)

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Bendamustine belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics, and specifically to the group of antineoplastics called alkylating agents. It prevents the growth of cancer cells by interfering with the genetic material DNA, which is necessary for reproduction of cells.

Bendamustine is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not yet been treated, and to treat relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of bendamustine hydrochloride depends on the condition being treated.

For chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the usual adult dose is given intravenously (directly into a vein) over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 2 of a 28-day cycle, up to 6 cycles.

For non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the usual dose is given intravenously (directly into a vein) over 60 minutes of Days 1 and 2 of a 21-day cycle, up to 8 cycles.

As well as interfering with cancer cells, bendamustine can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor as suggested in the section "What side effects are possible with this medication?"

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. Very careful handling of this medication is required. It is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.

It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive bendamustine, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

25 mg
Each vial of sterile freeze-dried powder contains 25 mg of bendamustine hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol.

100mg
Each vial of sterile freeze-dried powder contains 100 mg of bendamustine hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to bendamustine hydrochloride or any ingredients of this medication, including mannitol
  • have a serious infection, including pneumonia, or HIV

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • tiredness
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • dehydration (thirst, dizziness, dry mouth, less urine output)
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever (over 38°C, or as instructed by your physician or clinic)
  • high blood pressure
  • muscle weakness or numbness
  • persistent cough with shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • symptoms of an infection such as fever, chills, or painful and difficult urination
  • unexpected bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness

Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • black, tarry stools or blood in urine or stools
  • irregular heartbeat
  • lack of urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • seizures
  • severe muscle weakness
  • severe skin rash or skin blisters
  • symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the eyelids, throat, and mouth

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.

Low red blood cell count: This medication can reduce the number of red blood cells in the blood. Red blood cells help provide oxygen to different tissues in the body. Tell your doctor of any signs that your red blood cell count is low. Such symptoms may include feeling unusually tired, decreased levels of alertness, loss of appetite, paler-than-normal skin, trouble breathing, or rapid heartbeat.

Blood clotting: This medication can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood. Platelets help the blood to clot, and a shortage could make you bleed more easily. Tell your doctor of any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly. Such symptoms may include black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding.

Extravasation: When bendamustine leaks into tissue surrounding a vein, symptoms such as redness, swelling, and pain can occur around the place of injection. This is called extravasation. If you develop symptoms of extravasation, tell your doctor or nurse immediately.

Heart problems: Bendamustine can cause heart problems such as heart failure, chest pain, and abnormal heart rhythms. If you have heart problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people who have contagious infections and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection such as fever or chills.

Infusion reaction: When bendamustine is given, you may experience an infusion reaction (fever, chills, skin rash or itchiness). If you experience an infusion reaction, your doctor may prescribe medications (e.g., antihistamines, acetaminophen, corticosteroids) to be given prior to future infusions to prevent another reaction.

Kidney problems: If you have kidney problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver problems: Bendamustine can affect your liver function. If you have severe liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Secondary cancer: This medication can increase the risk of developing leukemia. If you are concerned about this, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Surgery: If you need surgery, tell your doctor or anaesthetist that you are taking this medication.

Pregnancy: There is a possibility of birth defects if either the man or woman is taking bendamustine at the time of conception, or if it is taken during pregnancy. Use effective birth control starting 2 weeks before receiving this medication and for at least 4 weeks after receiving your last dose. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Infertility: Men treated with bendamustine may develop infertility that may last for several years after stopping treatment. Talk to your doctor about infertility management options.

Breast-feeding: This medication may pass into breast milk. Women taking this medication should not breast-feed.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between bendamustine and any of the following:

  • clozapine
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Treanda

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