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Brentuximab (Adcetris)

How does this medicine work?

Brentuximab (bren-TUK-sih-mab) is a type of targeted medication known as an antibody-drug conjugate. These work to destroy cancer cells by locating and binding to them and releasing a medicine that disrupts cell growth.

How is the medicine given?

Brentuximab is given as an infusion into a vein (IV) in the hospital or clinic.

What are the side effects?


  • Low blood counts
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Tingling in hands and feet


  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lung infection


  • Liver changes
  • Infusion reactions
  • Inflammation of the pancreas

When should I call the clinic?

Call the clinic if:

  • Fever, bleeding, unusual bruising
  • Stomach pain, back pain
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Seizure, loss of consciousness
  • Tingling or weakness in hands and feet
  • Decreased urination
  • Signs of an allergic reaction:

            - rash or hives

            - wheezing

            - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

During the infusion you will have vital signs done to monitor for any reaction.

If you are sexually active, pregnant, could become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, DO NOT take or administer Brentuximab without checking with your health care provider first.

You will have regular blood tests while receiving this medication. This is to make sure your heart, lungs, and kidneys are working properly.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

Reviewed Hem/Onc 12/2016

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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