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Immunotherapy Monoclonal Antibody

Brand names:


Other names:

Brentuximab vedotin

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What is Brentuximab?

Brentuximab is a type of immunotherapy called a monoclonal antibody. This medicine works by targeting a protein called CD30 found on some types of lymphoma cells. Brentuximab is considered a type of immunotherapy because it uses the patient’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. It is also a targeted therapy because the medicine is specific to certain cell features and “targets” those cells.

Blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and temperature will be checked regularly during and after the infusion to watch for infusion-related side effects.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and monitor kidney and liver function.

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Given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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Possible Side Effects

  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Swelling of arms or legs
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia and/or fatigue)
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills)
  • Headache
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Back or abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Night sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Rash, itching, dry skin
  • Hand-foot syndrome (tingling of the hands and feet, redness and flaking of the skin)
  • Hair loss
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems

Infusion-related reactions: Symptoms may include chills, shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, low blood pressure, pain in the chest, swelling of the face or neck

Not all patients who take brentuximab will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Some patients may have a reaction to this medicine. Let a nurse know how you are feeling during the infusion.
  • Your care team may recommend diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and other medicines to help prevent flu-like symptoms.
  • Brentuximab may increase the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopy (PML), a rare brain infection. Talk to your doctor or get medical help right away if these symptoms occur: confusion, memory loss, headache, vision or speech changes, loss of balance or coordination, weakness on one side of the body, or changes in mood or behavior.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Brentuximab resources