Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library bleomycin

bleomycin

Pronunciation: BLEE oh MYE sin

What is the most important information I should know about bleomycin?

What is the most important information I should know about bleomycin?

While you are being treated with this medicine, be sure you can get medical help quickly in case you have any serious side effects.

Call your doctor at once if you feel tired, light-headed, or short of breath, or if you have chest pain or discomfort, a dry cough, a decreased appetite, or weight loss.

What is bleomycin?

What is bleomycin?

Bleomycin is used to treat:

  • squamous cell carcinoma (a skin cancer that can affect the mouth, throat, nose and sinuses, penis, vagina, or cervix);
  • Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma;
  • testicular cancer; and
  • malignant pleural effusion (a build-up of fluid in the outer tissues of the lungs, caused by certain types of cancer).

Bleomycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving bleomycin?

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving bleomycin?

You should not be treated with bleomycin if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • lung disease or breathing problems;
  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

Bleomycin may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using bleomycin.

How is bleomycin given?

How is bleomycin given?

Bleomycin is given as an injection into a muscle or under the skin, or as an infusion into a vein. When treating pleural effusion, bleomycin is given through a chest tube.

A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Bleomycin is usually given once or twice per week, depending on the condition being treated. When given through a chest tube, bleomycin is usually given only once.

To make sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects on your lungs, you may need to have chest X rays or other frequent lung function tests.

Your kidney function and liver function may also need to be checked.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are being treated with bleomycin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your bleomycin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving bleomycin?

What should I avoid while receiving bleomycin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of bleomycin?

What are the possible side effects of bleomycin?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; fever, chills, confusion; wheezing, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Bleomycin can cause life-threatening breathing problems. While you are being treated with this medicine, be sure you can get medical help quickly in case you have any serious side effects.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, dry cough, tiredness;
  • a light-headed feeling, feeling like you might pass out;
  • loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, problems with vision or speech;
  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
  • unusual hardening of your skin; or
  • swelling, numbness, tingling or cold feeling in your fingers.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • skin redness, dark streaks, or discoloration;
  • fingernail or toenail changes;
  • fever, chills, vomiting, not feeling well;
  • rash, itching; or
  • hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect bleomycin?

What other drugs will affect bleomycin?

Other drugs may affect bleomycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about bleomycin.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details