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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Bortezomib (Velcade®)


Brand Name: Velcade®

Bortezomib is used to treat multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.

Bortezomib is a targeted therapy drug. More specifically, this drug is known as a proteasome inhibitor. The proteasome is a component of all cells that is involved in many functions, including the regulation of growth and survival. By interfering with the proteasome, bortezomib can cause cancer cells to die.

This medication is given as an injection into the vein. The amount of bortezomib given depends on many factors, including height, weight, overall health, and the condition being treated. Your doctor will determine the best dose and schedule for you on an individual basis.

Bortezomib side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between bortezomib and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had a liver tumor, liver disease, or kidney disease, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding. Bortezomib should not be taken during breastfeeding.

Possible side effects of bortezomib may include:

  • General weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Joint, bone, or muscle pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping

Some of bortezomib’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in your sense of touch
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives, rash, or itching
  • Sore throat, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Impaired speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Hallucinating or having harmful thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Decreased urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Seizures

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of bortezomib with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.

Bortezomib for cancer treatment

Bortezomib is approved by the FDA for the following:

  • The initial treatment of patients with multiple myeloma
  • The treatment of patients with multiple myeloma following at least one prior therapy
  • The treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma who have received at least one prior therapy

At CTCA, our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.