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Cetuximab

Erbitux

CETUXIMAB is a monoclonal antibody. It is used to treat colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer. Compare EGFR inhibitors.
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Cetuximab Side Effects

What should I watch for?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. This drug 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 doctor tells you to stop.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun while taking this medicine and for 2 months after the last dose. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Use adequate birth control methods. Avoid pregnancy for at least 6 months after your last dose. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or during the 2 months after your last dose.

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Interactions with Medications

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Blemishes on the skin or pimples

bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet

body aches or pain

chills

congestion

cough or hoarseness

deep cracks, grooves, or lines in the skin

difficult or labored breathing

dizziness

facial swelling

fever

headache

lower back or side pain

nausea

painful or difficult urination

pale skin

rapid weight gain

runny nose

severe dry skin

shortness of breath

skin rash

tender, swollen glands in the neck

tightness in the chest

tingling of the hands or feet

trouble with breathing on exertion

trouble with swallowing

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

unusual weight gain or loss

voice changes

vomiting

weakness

wheezing

Less common or rare

Anxiety

black, tarry stools

chest pain

confusion

decreased urination

dry mouth

fainting

fast heartbeat

increase in heart rate

lightheadedness

rapid, shallow breathing

sore throat

sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth

sunken eyes

swollen glands

thirst

wrinkled skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Acid or sour stomach

belching

burning, dry, or itching eyes

diarrhea

difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)

discharge from the eye

discoloration of the fingernails or toenails

discouragement

excessive tearing

feeling sad or empty

hair loss or thinning of the hair

heartburn

indigestion

irritability

itching skin

lack or loss of appetite

lack or loss of strength

loss of interest or pleasure

pain

redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid

sleeplessness

stomach discomfort, upset, or pain

swelling or inflammation of the mouth

trouble concentrating

trouble sleeping

unable to sleep

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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