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Back to Oncology Drug index

Back to Antibiotics

Bleomycin sulfate

BLM, Blenoxane, Bleo

Pregnancy Category D

Drug classes


Mechanism of action

Inhibits DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis in susceptible cells, preventing cell division; cell cycle phase-specific agent with major effects in G2 and M phases.


  1. Palliative treatment of squamous cell carcinoma, lymphomas, testicular carcinoma, alone or in combination with other drugs


  1. Allergy to bleomycin sulfate
  2. Lactation
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Adverse effects

  • GI: Hepatic toxicity, stomatitis, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss
  • Respiratory: Dyspnea, rales, pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis
  • GU: Renal toxicity
  • Dermatologic: Rash, striae, vesiculation, hyperpigmentation, skin tenderness, hyperkeratosis, nail changes, alopecia, pruritis
  • Hypersensitivity: Idiosyncratic reaction similar to anaphylaxis: hypotension, mental confusion, fever, chills, wheezing (especially in lymphoma patients, 1% occurrence)
  • Other: Fever, chills

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