CETUXIMAB (se TUX i mab) treats head and neck cancer. It may also be used to treat colorectal cancer. It works by blocking a protein that causes cancer cells to grow and multiply. This helps to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells. It is a monoclonal antibody.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Erbitux
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
This medication is infused into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
Keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.
Interactions are not expected.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medication.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun while taking this medication and for 2 months after the last dose. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths.
This medication can cause serious infusion reactions. To reduce the risk, your care team may give you other medications to take before receiving this one. Be sure to follow the directions of your care team.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. You may also notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 2 months after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 2 months after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 2 months after the last dose.
This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Seek emergency help immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
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