Health Encyclopedia > Medications

aflibercept

Pronunciation: a FLIB er sept

Brand: Zaltrap

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

Multum donot

You should not use aflibercept if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe bleeding or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).

Before you receive aflibercept, tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, open sores or skin wounds, or if you have had surgery or dental work within the past 4 weeks.

Multum nobrfeed

You should not breast-feed while you are using aflibercept.

Multum donot

This medicine may cause serious and sometimes fatal bleeding. Call your doctor at once if you have any signs of unusual bleeding, including easy bruising, bloody stools, coughing up blood, or feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Multum emt

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using aflibercept. You may need to stop using the medicine at least 4 weeks before your surgery.

What is aflibercept?

Aflibercept is made from a human antibody fragment. It works by keeping new blood vessels from forming in a fast-growing tumor.

Aflibercept is used in combination with other medications to treat colorectal cancer.

Aflibercept is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking aflibercept?

Multum donot

You should not use aflibercept if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe bleeding; or
  • untreated or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).

To make sure you can safely use aflibercept, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • high blood pressure;
  • open sores or skin wounds; or
  • if you have had surgery or dental work within the past 4 weeks.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether aflibercept will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving aflibercept, and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends, whether you are a man or a woman.

This medication may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether aflibercept passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using aflibercept.

Older adults may be more likely to have severe diarrhea or get dehydrated while receiving aflibercept.

How should I take aflibercept?

Aflibercept is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Aflibercept must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 1 hour to complete.

Aflibercept is usually given every other week. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Multum emt

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using aflibercept. You may need to stop using the medicine at least 4 weeks before your surgery.

Multum donot

You will need regular medical tests to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Your blood pressure will also need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

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 taking aflibercept?

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

What are the possible side effects of aflibercept?

Multum emt

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

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling light-headed or short of breath, trouble concentrating;
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • any bleeding that will not stop;
  • any wound that will not heal;
  • severe or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea;
  • feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, change in mental status, problems with speech or balance, vision loss, seizure (convulsions);
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • rectal pain, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain or swelling in your lower stomach, problems with urination or bowel movements;
  • puffy eyes, swelling in your ankles or feet, weight gain, urine that looks foamy; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, mild diarrhea;
  • loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • mild headache;
  • feeling tired; or
  • hoarse voice.

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 aflibercept?

There may be other drugs that can interact with aflibercept. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about aflibercept.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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