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Brand Name: Velcade®
Active Ingredient:   bortezomib
Strength(s): 3.5 mg/10 mL vial
Dosage Form(s):   Injection
Company Name:    Millennium Pharmaceuticals
Availability:         Prescription only
*Date Approved by FDA:   May 13, 2003
*Approval by FDA does not mean that the drug is yet available for consumers.

What is Velcade used for? 

  • Velcade is a chemotherapy medicine (medicine used to kill cancer cells) that is used to treat a type of cancer called multiple myeloma. It should only be used in people:  
    • who have already been treated with two other types of chemotherapy medicines, and 
    •  whose cancer has still progressed on the most recent therapy. 
  • Velcade should not be the first chemotherapy medicine that is used to treat multiple myeloma. 

The effectiveness of Velcade is based on how patients in the clinical studies responded to treatment. At this time, it is not known whether Velcade will improve symptoms of multiple myeloma, keep the disease from getting worse, or help patients live longer.

Who should not be treated with Velcade? 

Do not use Velcade if you are allergic to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol.

Special Warnings with Velcade:

  • Velcade may cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition that causes numbness, pain, or a burning feeling in the feet or hands. 
  • Velcade may decrease blood pressure, causing dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells. 
  • Velcade may cause severe nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting, which may lead to dehydration (loss of body fluids). 
  • Velcade may decrease the number of platelets in the blood, causing easier bruising and bleeding. 

Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the above side effects

What should I tell my health care provider?

Tell your health care provider if you: 

  • have or had liver or kidney problems 
  • are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding 

Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your health care provider if you take: 

  • amiodarone 
  • antiviral medicines 
  • isoniazid 
  • nitrofurantoin 
  • cholesterol medicines called ‘statins’ 
  • diabetes medicines 
  • blood pressure medicines 

These medicines may affect how Velcade works, or Velcade may affect how these medicines work. Some medicines may also cause the same side effects as Velcade, leading to more severe side effects.

What are some possible side effects of Velcade? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Velcade. Your health care provider or pharmacist can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.

Some common side effects with Velcade include: 

  • fatigue, tiredness, weakness
  •  nausea 
  •  diarrhea 
  •  decreased appetite 
  •  constipation 
  •  decreased blood platelet count 
  • ·peripheral neuropathy 
  • ·fever 
  •  vomiting 
  • anemia

For more detailed information about Velcade, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.    Link to Velcade's approved label   


Back to Drug Side Effects

source: FDA

last update: December 2004

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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