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Erbitux

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Erbitux

Erbitux Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Erbitux

Generic Name: cetuximab (Pronunciation: se TUX i mab)

What is cetuximab (Erbitux)?

Cetuximab is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Cetuximab is used to treat cancers of the colon and rectum. It is also used to treat head and neck cancer.

Cetuximab may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of cetuximab (Erbitux)?

Some people receiving a cetuximab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel short of breath, weak or dizzy, nauseated, itchy, or have wheezing, noisy breathing, or a hoarse voice during the injection.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • an acne-like skin rash or any severe skin rash;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop);
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • easy bruising or bleeding;
  • urinating more or less than usual;
  • hot dry skin with weakness or dizziness;
  • confusion; or
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dry, cracked, or swollen skin;
  • changes in your fingernails or toenails;
  • headache;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • dry mouth, trouble swallowing;
  • cough or sore throat;
  • weight loss; or
  • weakness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Erbitux (cetuximab) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about cetuximab (Erbitux)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cetuximab or to mouse protein.

Before receiving cetuximab, tell your doctor if you have heart rhythm problems, congestive heart failure, breathing problems, or coronary artery disease. Tell your doctor if you are also being treated with cisplatin (Platinol).

After you receive this medicine, your doctor will need to watch you for about an hour. This is to make sure you do not have any serious side effects from the medicine.

Some people receiving a cetuximab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel short of breath, weak or dizzy, nauseated, itchy, or have wheezing, noisy breathing, or a hoarse voice during the injection.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor. You may need to have blood tests for several weeks after your cetuximab treatment has ended.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds) while you are receiving cetuximab and for at least 2 months after your treatment ends. Cetuximab can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Side Effects Centers
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Erbitux - User Reviews

Erbitux User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Erbitux sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

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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