|Chemical name: Bevacizumab
Typical dosage: 100mg/4ml
Typical type: Injection1
Avastin® is a medication used to treat many types of cancer. Avastin is a brand name only medication and is available as an intravenous solution.
Avastin is administrated as an IV infusion over a period of time by a licensed healthcare provider in a healthcare facility. You cannot fill a prescription for Avastin at a retail pharmacy.
Avastin is a prescription medication that contains the active ingredient Bevacizumab.
Avastin is used to treat many types of cancer including cervical, colorectal, glioblastoma, lung cancer, ovarian and renal cell carcinoma. Avastin is given by IV every 2 to 3 weeks depending on what type of cancer is being treated.
Avastin prevents the body from growing certain types of blood vessels to cancer cells. This helps to decrease the growth of cancer cells by starving the cells of nutrients they need to grow.
Medicare Part B may cover Avastin if your doctor deems it medically necessary to treat your specific type of cancer.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan will cover qualified Avastin treatment that would be covered by Medicare Part B.
Many Medicare Advantage plans also include coverage for other prescription drugs that may not be covered by Original Medicare.
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Medicare coverage for Avastin can vary. You should speak with your doctor and contact your Medicare plan carrier to learn more about how your Avastin treatment may be covered by your plan.
If your Avastin treatment is covered by Medicare Part B, you will typically be responsible for paying the Part B coinsurance or copayment (20 percent of the Medicare approved amount) after you meet the Part B deductible, which is $185 per year in 2019.
Avastin is a chemotherapy medication that has a lot of potential side effects.
The following side effects are common, but not all patients experience all of the side effects listed: generalized weakness, pain, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, upper respiratory infection, low white blood cell count (increasing the risk of infection), kidney problems, nose bleed, diarrhea, hair loss, mouth sores and headache.
Avastin may cause severe holes in the GI tract (fistulas), bleeding problems and issues with wound healing. Talk with your doctor about your risk, especially if you notice any unusual bleeding or are planning on having any surgery.
You may have a higher risk of getting an infection with Avastin. Stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands often. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection.
Avastin should not be used in patients with heart failure, and it may worsen high blood pressure. Avastin may also cause reactions during the infusion of the medication.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis. It is not an endorsement of or recommendation for this medication. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about your specific healthcare needs, including your prescription medications. Only take medication as directed by your doctor.
Coverage and costs of prescription medications will vary by Medicare plan. Not all plans are available in all areas.
Written by Hayden Gharibyar, Pharm.D.