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Erbitux Consumer (continued)
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, headache, stomachache, backache, fever/chills, trouble sleeping, weight loss, fatigue, drowsiness, eye redness/itching, nail changes, and dry skin may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be quite severe. In some cases, drug therapy may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Not eating before your treatment may help relieve vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
An acne-like rash may occur. Depending on how severe this rash is, your doctor may delay your cetuximab treatment, lower your dose, treat the rash with antibiotics, or stop treatment with cetuximab to decrease this potentially serious side effect.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: confusion, depression, swelling of hands/feet/lower legs, dehydration, serious infection (e.g., high fever, chills, persistent sore throat), change in amount of urine, decreased vision, severe dizziness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat.
Rarely, very serious lung problems may occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop: trouble breathing.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Erbitux (cetuximab) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before receiving cetuximab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: lung disease, radiation therapy, heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias).
This medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Sunlight may worsen any skin reactions that may occur while you are using this drug. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps during treatment and for 2 months after your last treatment with cetuximab. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
This medication may harm an unborn baby. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Both males and females using this drug must avoid becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy. Therefore, both males and females using this drug must use at least 2 reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while using this medication and for 6 months after treatment is ended. Consult your doctor for information on reliable birth control. If you or your partner becomes pregnant while using this drug or during the 6 months after the last treatment, tell both of your doctors immediately.
Based on information from related drugs, cetuximab may pass into breast milk. Because of potential harm to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using cetuximab and for 2 months after the end of treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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