Side Effects of Targeted Cancer Therapy Drugs
Common and serious side effects of targeted drugs
Some of the other common and serious side effects caused by targeted therapy drugs are listed here. This is not a complete list, as each targeted drug can have different side effects.
High blood pressure
Some targeted drugs, especially those called angiogenesis inhibitors can raise your blood pressure. There isn’t really anything you can do to prevent this, but your doctor will watch your blood pressure closely if you’re getting a drug that can cause this side effect. Some people need medicine to bring their blood pressure down to safe levels during treatment. They should stay on this medicine until their doctor tells them it can be stopped.
Bleeding or blood clotting problems
Some targeted therapy drugs interfere with new blood vessel growth. This can lead to problems with bruising and bleeding. Bleeding, such as from the stomach and intestines, can be severe and even life threatening. Tell your doctor if you throw up blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, or if you notice dark or black stools or bright red blood in your stool. These can be signs of bleeding in the stomach or intestines.
Some drugs can also cause blood clots in the lungs and legs, as well as heart attacks and strokes. Let your doctor know if you have problems with sudden swelling, pain, or tenderness in the arm or leg. If you have chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, vision problems, weakness, seizures, or trouble speaking, get emergency help. These can be symptoms of serious problems caused by blood clots.
These problems are not common, and there’s no known way to prevent them.
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