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.