Brand Name(s): Blenoxane
Drug Class: Antibiotics
Treats: Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Testicular Cancer, Hodgkin's Disease, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Bleomycin is a chemotherapeutic drug used in the treatment of a range of cancers, not least Hodgkin's disease and squamous cell carcinoma. The drug works because it breaks DNA strands, meaning the cancerous cell has no choice but to die. Common side effects associated with bleomycin include dermatological effects such as skin rash and redness, while patients may also experience cough and vomiting.
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Bleomycin is a drug used in the treatment of a wide range of different cancers. It is used, for example, in the treatment of testicular cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Bleomycin is used not least because it breaks DNA strands in the cancer, though the precise mechanism by which this occurs has not yet been fully elucidated. Bleomycin may also be used in the treatment of malignant pleural effusion, a condition where abnormal quantities of fluid reside between thin layers, known as pleura, that surround the lung. Bleomycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this guide, at the discretion of the oncologist in question.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Testicular Cancer
- Hodgkin's Disease
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Bleomycin, as with any other medicine, does not follow any fixed dose. There are, of course, recommended dosage regimens, but these regimens have exceptions. Patients may present with complicating factors such as age, co-administration of other medicines, and the presence of disease. Dosage may change at the discretion of the prescriber.
- 0.25 to 0.5 units per kg to be administered (IV/IM/SC) either weekly or bi-weekly.
Bleomycin Side Effects
Bleomycin, as with many medicines, is associated with its own set of distinct side effects, many of which are listed below, though this is by no means an exhaustive list. As an anticancer medication, bleomycin may cause highly undesirable side effects, and these will be disclosed to you before administration. If you experience any severe side effects while taking bleomycin, you are advised to discontinue the medicine and contact your oncologist at the nearest available time. Common side effects include:
- Darkening of skin
- Thickening of skin
- Skin Rash
- Skin Redness
- Finger Swelling
Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Sudden Weakness
- Sudden Chest Pain
Bleomycin is linked to its own range of drug interactions, many of which can be found listed below, though this is not intended to be a complete list. If patients are currently taking any medication, including herbal remedies and supplements, this should be disclosed to the prescriber beforehand. In addition, the prescriber should be consulted if you intend on taking any new medications while on bleomycin. Drugs that interact with bleomycin include: