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Generic Name: avelumab (a VEL ue mab)
Brand Names: Bavencio
Bavencio (avelumab) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Bavencio is used to treat Merkel cell carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma, and renal cell carcinoma. Includes side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Bavencio (avelumab) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Bavencio is used to treat a type of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) in adults and children at least 12 years old, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). Bavencio was approved for MCC by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an "accelerated" basis. In clinical studies, tumors responded to this medicine. However, further studies are needed. Learn more

Bavencio Side Effects

Bavencio Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about avelumab. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Bavencio.

For the Consumer

Applies to avelumab: intravenous solution

Along with its needed effects, avelumab (the active ingredient contained in Bavencio) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking avelumab:

More common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • back pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • confusion
  • cough
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • feeling of warmth
  • fever
  • headache
  • hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
  • hoarseness
  • irritation
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid weight gain
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • redness of the skin
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sweating
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • troubled breathing or swallowing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss

Less common

  • Chest pain
  • constipation
  • depressed mood
  • dry skin and hair
  • feeling cold
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hair loss
  • muscle cramps and stiffness
  • stomach cramps
  • thickening of bronchial secretions
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • weight gain


  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • chest discomfort
  • dark urine
  • darkening of the skin
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • muscle pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • sensitivity to heat
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • stomachache
  • trouble sleeping
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • weight loss
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects of avelumab may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Decreased appetite

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to avelumab: intravenous solution


Very common (10% or more): Hypotension (25%), hypertension (13%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myocarditis


Very common (10% or more): Urticaria (25%), rash (e.g., maculopapular, erythema, dermatitis bullous) (22%), pruritus (10%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Psoriasis, arthritis, exfoliative dermatitis, pemphigoid, Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS)/toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, vasculitis, hypophysitis


Common (1% to 10%): Immune-mediated thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism, hypophysitis


Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain (25%), diarrhea (23%), nausea (22%), constipation (17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Immune-mediated colitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pancreatitis


Very common (10% or more): Lymphopenia (49%), anemia (35%), thrombocytopenia (27%)

Common (1% to 10%): Neutropenia

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hemolytic anemia


Very common (10% or more): Increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (34%), increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (20%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased bilirubin

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Immune-mediated hepatitis


Common (1% to 10%): Immunogenicity


Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (20%), weight loss (15%), increased lipase (14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased amylase


Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (20%), weight loss (15%), increased lipase (14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased amylase


Very common (10% or more): Musculoskeletal pain (32%), back pain (25%), arthralgia (16%)

Common (1% to 10%):

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myositis, rhabdomyolysis, myasthenia gravis

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Dizziness (14%), headache (10%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Guillain-Barre syndrome, demyelination, encephalitis


Very common (10% or more): Couth (18%), dyspnea (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Immune-mediated pneumonitis, wheezing


Rare (less than 0.1%): Immune-mediated nephritis


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (50%), pyrexia (25%), chills (25%), flushing (25%), peripheral edema (20%)


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Uveitis, iritis

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Bavencio