Ziv-aflibercept

Ziv-aflibercept treats cancer of the colon or rectum. It is injected once every 14 days.

Ziv-aflibercept Overview

Reviewed: January 3, 2014
Updated: 

Ziv-aflibercept is a prescription medication used to treat cancer of the colon (large intestine) or rectum that has spread to other parts of the body. Ziv-aflibercept belongs to a group of drugs called antiangiogenic agents. These work by stopping the formation of blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to tumors. This may slow the growth and spread of tumors.

Ziv-aflibercept injection come as a solution to be injected intravenously (into a vein) over at least 1 hour by a healthcare professional. Ziv-aflibercept is usually given once every 14 days.

Common side effects include loss of appetite, weight loss, and sores in the mouth or throat.

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Ziv-aflibercept Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Ziv-aflibercept

Ziv-aflibercept is a prescription medication used to treat cancer of the colon (large intestine) or rectum that has spread to other parts of the body.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
 

Ziv-aflibercept Brand Names

Ziv-aflibercept may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Ziv-aflibercept Drug Class

Ziv-aflibercept is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Ziv-aflibercept

Common side effects of this medication include the following:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • sores in the mouth or throat
  • tiredness
  • voice changes
  • hemorrhoids
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • darkening of the skin
  • dryness, thickness, cracking, or blistering of skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet

This is not a complete list of this medication’s side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ziv-aflibercept Interactions

No drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Ziv-aflibercept Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with this medication, and certain precautions should be followed:

  • Ziv-aflibercept may cause severe bleeding that can be life-threatening. Tell your doctor if you have recently noticed any unusual bruising or bleeding. Your doctor may not want you to receive ziv-aflibercept. If you experience any of the following symptoms at any time during your treatment, call your doctor immediately: nosebleeds or bleeding from your gums; coughing up or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds; unusual bleeding or bruising; pink, red, or dark brown urine; red or tarry black bowel movements; dizziness; or weakness.
  • Ziv-aflibercept may cause you to develop a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine. This is a serious and possibly life-threatening condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: stomach pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or fever.
  • Ziv-aflibercept may slow the healing of wounds, such as cuts made by a doctor during surgery. In some cases, ziv-aflibercept may cause a wound that has closed to split open. This is a serious and possibly life-threatening condition. If you experience this problem, call your doctor immediately. Tell your doctor if you have recently had surgery or if you plan to have surgery, including dental surgery. If you have recently had surgery, you should not use ziv-aflibercept until at least 28 days have passed and until the area has completed healed. If you are scheduled to have surgery, your doctor will stop your treatment with ziv-aflibercept at least 28 days before the surgery.

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • leakage of fluids through an opening in the skin
  • slow or difficult speech
  • headache
  • dizziness or faintness
  • weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • seizures
  • extreme tiredness
  • confusion
  • change in vision or loss of vision
  • sore throat, fever, chills, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection
  • swelling of the face, eyes, stomach, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • unexplained weight gain
  • foamy urine
  • pain, tenderness, warmth, redness, or swelling in one leg only

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to ziv-aflibercept or to any of its ingredients.
 

Ziv-aflibercept Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.

Inform MD

Before receiving ziv-aflibercept,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ziv-aflibercept or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child.
  • tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with ziv-aflibercept.
  • you should know that ziv-aflibercept may cause high blood pressure. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly while you are receiving ziv-aflibercept.

Ziv-aflibercept and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C. You or your partner should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with ziv-aflibercept and for at least 3 months after you stop using the medication. If you or your partner become pregnant while using ziv-aflibercept, call your doctor. Ziv-aflibercept may harm the fetus (unborn baby).

Ziv-aflibercept and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if ziv-aflibercept crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using this medication.

Ziv-aflibercept Usage

Ziv-aflibercept injection come as a solution to be injected intravenously (into a vein) over at least 1 hour by a healthcare professional. Ziv-aflibercept is usually given once every 14 days.

Ziv-aflibercept Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The recommended dose is 4 mg/kg infused into the vein over 1 hour every 2 weeks.

Ziv-aflibercept Overdose

Since this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
 

Other Requirements

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.

Ziv-aflibercept FDA Warning

WARNING: HEMORRHAGE, GASTROINTESTINAL PERFORATION, COMPROMISED WOUND HEALING

See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

  • Hemorrhage: Severe and sometimes fatal hemorrhage, including gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage, has been reported in patients who have received ziv-aflibercept. Do not administer ziv-aflibercept to patients with severe hemorrhage.
  • Gastrointestinal Perforation: Discontinue ziv-aflibercept therapy in patients who experience GI perforation.
  • Compromised Wound Healing: Discontinue ziv-aflibercept in patients with compromised wound healing. Suspend ziv-aflibercept for at least 4 weeks prior to elective surgery, and do not resume for at least 4 weeks following major surgery and until the surgical wound is fully healed.