Bendamustine (Generic Name)

Other Names: Treanda®

About This Drug

This drug is used to treat cancer. It is given intravenously (IV).

Possible Side Effects (Common)

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash or other skin problem
  • Weakness
  • Swelling (fluid retention) in the legs, ankles, and/or feet.
  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Bone marrow depression usually occurs five to seven days after the drug is given and may increase your risk of infection, fatigue, and bleeding.

Sexual Problems and Reproductive Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment, and for at least up to 3 months after treatment is finished.
  • Speak with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.  Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.
  • Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. In addition, a genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.
  • Breast feeding warning Women are advised not to breast feed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and seriously harm a breast feeding infant.

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medication that is available to help prevent or lessen nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake due to another medical condition. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you vomit or have diarrhea, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated.
  • Do not put anything on your rash unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of Bendamustine with food. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's advice.

Other Instructions

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Mannitol (found in some artificial sweeteners and breath fresheners)

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions including anaphylaxis are rare but may occur in some patients. While you are receiving this drug by IV, tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty catching your breath or wheezing
  • Feeling as if your tongue or throat is swelling
  • Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations)
  • Flushing, itching, rash, or hives
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or light-headedness

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after you go home:

  • Temperature of 100.5 ° F (38.0° C) or above
  • Chills
  • Symptoms of an infection or illness
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting more than three times in one day
  • Rash, itching or other serious skin problem
  • Diarrhea of 5 or 6 stools in one day or diarrhea with weakness

Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that prescribed medication does not help
  • Extreme fatigue that interferes with normal activities
  • Rash and/or itching that prescribed medications does not help
  • Decrease in your urine output

Revised November 2011

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com