In late 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that Avastin's breast cancer approval be removed. Studies have not shown the drug to increase survival in people with breast cancer, and there is not sufficient benefit to outweigh the risks.
This action does not affect Avastin's approval for other uses. Healthcare providers may still use Avastin to treat breast cancer, although they will be doing so in an "off-label" fashion.
At this time, there are no known Avastin drug interactions. However, because specific studies to check for drug interactions have not been performed, it is possible that interactions exist that are not currently known.
One study suggested that Avastin may affect how the body handles irinotecan (Camptosar®), a chemotherapy medication, possibly increasing the risk of irinotecan side effects. However, it is not certain that Avastin caused these changes or if they were random.
Because it is possible that not all Avastin drug interactions are known at this time, you should talk with your pharmacist or healthcare provider on a regular basis about any specific drug interactions that may apply to you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Avastin [package insert]. San Francisco (CA): Genentech, Inc.;2013 January.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA begins process to remove breast cancer indication from Avastin label (12/16/2010). FDA Web site. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2010/ucm237172.htm. Accessed March 15, 2011.
Lexi-Interact [computer program]. Lexi-Comp, Inc.; August 10, 2007.
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