Vectibix - Panitumumab Injection
What is this medication?
PANITUMUMAB (pan i TOOM ue mab) treats 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): Vectibix
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Eye disease
- Low levels of magnesium in the blood
- Lung disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to panitumumab, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is injected 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.
What if I miss a dose?
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.
What may interact with this medication?
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.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication.
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.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun while receiving this medication and for 2 months after stopping therapy. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths.
Check with your care team if you have severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid may make it dangerous for you to take this medication.
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. 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.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Dry cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Eye pain, redness, irritation, or discharge with blurry or decreased vision
- Infusion reactions—chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling faint or lightheaded
- Low magnesium level—muscle pain or cramps, unusual weakness or fatigue, fast or irregular heartbeat, tremors
- Low potassium level—muscle pain or cramps, unusual weakness or fatigue, fast or irregular heartbeat, constipation
- Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- Skin reactions on sun-exposed areas
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Change in nail shape, thickness, or color
- Dry skin
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.
Where should I keep my medication?
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.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Vectibix
- While taking Vectibix, drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- Wash your hands often.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals while taking Vectibix.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely while you are taking Vectibix. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition while being treated with Vectibix.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects while being treated with Vectibix, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
Contact your doctor or health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Fever or chills during the infusion
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your doctor or health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Swelling of the hands or feet
- Severe rash (causing pain, itching or drainage)
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
- Eye irritation
Always inform your doctor or health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.