How does this medicine work?

Bleomycin (blee oh mye sin) destroys cancer cells by interfering with a specific phase of cell life.

How is the medicine given?

Bleomycin is given into a vein (IV) or as an injection under the skin (Sub-Q). It is given in the hospital or clinic.

What are the side effects?


  • change in blood clotting factors
  • low blood counts
  • mild nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • increased skin coloring of elbows and knees
  • thickening of nail beds


  • fatigue
  • mouth sores
  • rash
  • hair loss
  • swelling and redness in hands and feet
  • fever and chills 6 hours after the infusion


  • shortness of breath and dry cough from lung damage
  • kidney damage
  • confusion

When should I call the clinic?

Call hematology helpline 982403210 if:

  • fever, chills
  • mouth sores
  • cough
  • hoarseness
  • skin rash or irritation
  • signs of an allergic reaction:
    •  fever or chills
    • sudden rash or hives
    • wheezing
    •  trouble breathing – call 112

What else do I need to know?

All caregivers should wear gloves when handling urine, stool, and vomit while your child is receiving the chemotherapy and for 48 hours afterward. Urine, stool, and vomit can be safely disposed of in septic tanks and the sewer system.

Report dizziness or signs of allergic reaction during the infusion.

Blood samples may be needed to check the effects of the bleomycin. Blood counts are lowest at 1 to 2 weeks after the medicine is given.

Due to the potential for lung scarring, periodic chest X-rays and pulmonary function tests are done at times during treatment to check the lungs. Kidney function tests are also done. Dosage is carefully monitored.

It is important to take good care of the mouth to prevent mouth sores.

Bleomycin may cause tissue burn if the medicine leaks from the vein. It may also cause irritation in the vein if given in a peripheral IV.

To prevent sunburn, wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors. All patients should wear sunscreen during treatment and for 1 year after treatment is completed. Avoid extensive exposure to sunlight.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. It is important to 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:

Hematology Clinic
3rd floor, Kedar
Opp.Krupa Petrol Pump,
Parimal Garden, Ambawadi
Clinic: 07926463219
Whattsapp: 8238065890