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What is bortezomib?

Bortezomib is an anticancer medicine. It is used as a treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. It may also be given for other reasons. Bortezomib is a liquid given as a shot under your skin or into a vein (IV).

Bortezomib can pose a health hazard to caregivers. All caregivers should take safety precautions while giving this drug. For 48 hours after this drug is given, the patient’s body fluids can contain the drug. During that 48-hour period, caregivers should follow safety guidelines when handling the patient’s vomit, blood, urine, and bowel movements, including diapers. These guidelines include wearing gloves when cleaning up body fluids. For a complete list of safety precautions, see “Do you know… Protecting caregivers from drug hazards.”

Possible side effects of bortezomib

Most common

  • Loss of appetite (not as hungry as usual)
  • Mild diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

If you have any of these side effects, tell the doctor right away:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate; pain or problems while urinating
  • Chest pain, or fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Confusion or seizures
  • Dark urine or pale stools, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or fainting
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or constipation
  • Sudden or severe headache, or problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Swelling in your face, arms, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, or weakness

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for bortezomib

  • You should not take this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol.
  • Because bortezomib may cause birth defects, do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. Both men and women who are taking bortezomib should use effective birth control methods. Contact one of your caregivers at St. Jude if you are sexually active or think you may be pregnant.
  • It is not known whether bortezomib passes into breast milk. This medicine might cause serious harm to a nursing infant. Women who are taking bortezomib should not breast-feed a baby.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Avoid ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) dietary supplements including multivitamins for 12 hours before and after receiving bortezomib unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • Patients should not exceed the recommended dietary allowance of foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C, including oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, and orange and grapefruit juices.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).