Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: March 2023
Several different types of drugs are used to treat ovarian cancer, including targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets proteins in cancer cells that help the cancer grow, divide, and spread. Targeted therapy drugs identify these specific proteins and attack the cancer cells while trying to minimize damage to healthy cells.1
Zirabev® (bevacizumab-bvzr) is a targeted therapy that is a biosimilar to Avastin® (bevacizumab). Biosimilars are highly similar to an already-approved biologic.1,2
Biologics are made from living organisms, such as living cells. A biosimilar is not a generic version of a brand-name drug since it is not an exact replica. In order for a drug to be considered a biosimilar, researchers must prove in clinical trials that it has similar safety and efficacy as its reference product.1,2
What are the ingredients in Zirabev?
The active ingredient in Zirabev is bevacizumab-bvzr.3
How does Zirabev work?
Zirabev is a targeted therapy drug that belongs to the drug class of monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking a certain protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). While healthy cells make some VEGF, some cancer cells make too much VEGF. Blocking VEGF may help to prevent new blood vessel growth, including blood vessels that provide nutrients tumors need to grow.4,5
By blocking VEGF, Zirabev helps “starve” cancerous tumors, which prevents them from growing and spreading.4,5
What are the possible side effects of Zirabev?
The most common side effects of Zirabev include:4,5
- High blood pressure
- Increased protein levels in the urine
- Changes in how things taste
- Dry skin
- Back pain
- Watery eyes
- Skin inflammation
- Inflammation of the nose
Possible serious side effects may include:4,5
- GI perforation (a hole in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract)
- Trouble with wound healing
- Kidney problems
- Serious bleeding or hemorrhage
- Fistula (an abnormal connection between 2 hollow spaces in the body, such as blood vessels or the intestines)
- Stroke or heart problems, including blood clots
- Severe high blood pressure
- Nervous system or vision problems
- Ovarian failure
- Infusion-related reactions
These are not all the possible side effects of Zirabev. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Zirabev.
Things to know about Zirabev
Zirabev is not right for everyone. Tell your doctor if you are having surgery soon. Taking this drug before or after surgery may interfere with healing and bleeding.4,5
Zirabev can cause harm to an unborn baby and should not be given to women who are pregnant. Women who may become pregnant should use birth control (contraception) during treatment and for a period of time after the last dose of Zirabev. Talk to your doctor about the right birth control options and how long you need to use them. Women should also not breastfeed during treatment with Zirabev and for a period of time after the last dose. Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding options.4,5
Before beginning treatment with Zirabev, talk to your doctor about any other health issues you have. Also tell your doctor about any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.
For more information, read the full prescribing information of Zirabev (bevacizumab-bvzr).