Medical symbolDirectory of Drugs: Prescription symbol Velcade - bortezomib


Patient Information Sheet
Bortezomib (marketed as Velcade)

This is a summary of the most important information about Velcade. For details, talk to your healthcare professional.

What is Velcade used for? 

Velcade is a chemotherapy  medicine (a medicine used to kill cancer cells) that is indicated for the treatment of patients with:

  • Multiple myeloma who have already been treated with at least one other type of chemotherapy medicine
  • Mantle cell lymphoma who have already been treated with at least one other type of chemotherapy medicine

Velcade should not be the first chemotherapy medicine that is used to treat multiple myeloma or mantle cell lymphoma. 

Velcade has been shown to increase the response rate, time to disease progression, and survival for patients with myeloma who have progressed on one or more prior therapies.

Who should not be treated with Velcade?

Do not use Velcade if you are allergic to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol.

Special Warning(s) with Velcade:

  • Velcade may cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition that includes numbness, pain, or a burning feeling in the feet or hands. 
  • Velcade may decrease blood pressure, causing dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells. 
  • Velcade can cause or worsen congestive heart failure in patients with heart disease or who have risk factors for heart disease.
  • Velcade may cause severe nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting, which may lead to dehydration (loss of body fluids). 
  • Velcade may decrease the number of platelets in the blood, causing easier bruising and bleeding. 

Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the above side effects.

What should I tell my doctor or healthcare provider?

Tell your healthcare provider if you: 

  • have or had liver or kidney problems 
  • have or had  a history of heart disease
  • are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding 

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:  

  • amiodarone 
  • antiviral medicines 
  • isoniazid 
  • nitrofurantoin 
  • cholesterol medicines called ‘statins’ 
  • diabetes medicines 
  • blood pressure medicines 

These medicines may affect how Velcade works, or Velcade may affect how these medicines work. Some medicines may also cause the same side effects as Velcade, leading to more severe side effects.

What are some possible side effects of Velcade? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Velcade. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.) 

Some common side effects with Velcade include: 

  • fatigue, tiredness, weakness
  • nausea 
  • diarrhea 
  • decreased appetite 
  • constipation 
  • decreased blood counts 
  • peripheral neuropathy 
  • fever 
  • vomiting 
  • anemia
  • dizziness

For more detailed information about Velcade, ask your healthcare provider.

Date Created: June 13, 2003; Updated: February 1 , 2007

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