Children's Health and Wellness

Bleomycin Sulfate Solution for injection

What is this medicine?

BLEOMYCIN (blee oh MYE sin) is a chemotherapy drug. It is used to treat many kinds of cancer like lymphoma, cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, and testicular cancer. It is also used to prevent and to treat fluid build-up around the lungs caused by some cancers.

How should I use this medicine?

This drug is given as an infusion into a vein or a body cavity. It can also be given as an injection into a muscle or under the skin. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing problems

  • chest pain

  • confusion

  • cough

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • fever or chills

  • mouth sores

  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • darker skin color

  • hair loss

  • irritation at site where injected

  • loss of appetite

  • nail changes

  • nausea and vomiting

  • weight loss

What may interact with this medicine?

  • certain antibiotics given by injection

  • cisplatin

  • cyclosporine

  • diuretics

  • foscarnet

  • medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim

  • vaccines

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • cigarette smoker

  • kidney disease

  • lung disease

  • recent or ongoing radiation therapy

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to bleomycin, other chemotherapy agents, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

There is a maximum amount of this medicine you should receive throughout your life. The amount depends on the medical condition being treated and your overall health. Your doctor will watch how much of this medicine you receive in your lifetime. Tell your doctor if you have taken this medicine before.

Date Last Reviewed:
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.