Adcetris is a cancer medication used to treat lymphomas in adults. It has a boxed warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Adcetris increases your risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).
Generic name: brentuximab vedotin
Brand name: Adcetris
Drug class: CD30 monoclonal antibodies
Uses of Adcetris
It is used to treat:
- Stage 3 or stage 4 Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has not been treated yet
- Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has a high risk of relapse or progression after a stem cell transplant.
- Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has relapsed after having a stem cell transplant or has relapsed after at least two courses of chemotherapy with multiple drugs.
- Systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL) that haven’t been treated yet.
- Systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL) that has relapsed after at least one course of chemotherapy with multiple drugs.
- Primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma and a type of mycosis fungoides, either of which has relapsed after systemic treatment.
How Adcetris is Given
Adcetris is administered as an intravenous infusion. This injection will be given to you by a healthcare provider. Adcetris is typically taken every two to three weeks. Pay close attention to your doctor’s dosing instructions.
Other medications may be prescribed to assist you to avoid major side effects or an allergic response. Continue to take these medications as directed by your doctor.
Brentuximab vedotin can cause a reduction in the number of cells in your blood. Your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your cancer treatments may be postponed as a result of the findings. The doses of Brentuximab vedotin are calculated based on the patient’s weight. If you gain or lose weight, your dose requirements may alter.
If you require surgery, inform your surgeon that you are currently taking this medication. You might need to take a break for a while.
Side Effects of Adcetris
The following side effects can be associated with taking Adcetris. They include mild and severe side effects.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on Adcetris’ potential adverse effects. They can provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects.
Mild side effects include:
- hair loss
- nausea and vomiting
- upper respiratory tract infections
- infusion-related reactions
- weight loss
- abdominal pain
Severe side effects include:
- Serious skin reactions
- Liver damage
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
- High blood sugar level
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Respiratory distress
- Blood disorders
If you’re taking bleomycin, you shouldn’t take Adcetris. The use of brentuximab vedotin can progress to cause a dangerous brain infection, which can result in disability or death. If you’re having trouble speaking, thinking, seeing, or moving your muscles, call your doctor straight away.