Erbitux

The below information on Erbitux has been taken from official FDA sources, but we cannot guarantee it's accuracy. Please use this site for educational purposes only. This site does not replace a proper discussion with your doctor.


    Brand Name:Erbitux
    Generic:Cetuximab
    Availability:Prescription
This drug was approved by the FDA in one form or another on:
2004-02-12 ,
This drug is made in one form or another by the following companies:
ImClone Systems Incorporated
This drug is available in the following forms:
Intravenous
View the actual FDA approved label for this drug at the following links:
http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/label/2006/125084s046LBL.pdf

About Erbitux

Erbitux is a chemotherapy medicine (medicine used to kill cancer cells) that is given in a vein (I.V. infusion). It is used to treat a type of cancer of the colon or rectum that has spread to other areas of the body (EGRF-expressing metastatic colorectal carcinoma) and to treat certain cancers of the head and neck of the squamous cell type.

For cancer of the colon and rectum, Erbitux is used:

  • in combination with another chemotherapy medicine called irinotecan in people whose EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer is not or no longer shrinking with irinotecan alone
  • or, alone in people with EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer who cannot take irinotecan

At this time, it is not known whether Erbitux will improve symptoms of EGFR- expressing colorectal cancer or help these patients to live longer.

For cancer of the head and neck (squamous cell type), Erbitux is used:

  • in combination with radiation treatment as the first treatment for people with advanced cancer in the head and neck area.
  • or, alone in people with a tumor that has recurred or has spread to other sites of the body after initial treatment with surgery and/or radiation treatment and after platinum-based therapy has failed.

In a research study in patients with untreated head and neck cancer of squamous cell type, Erbitux in combination with radiation was shown to help patients live longer and to prolong time to tumor growth when compared with radiation treatment alone. In a second research study in patients with metastatic or recurrent cancer of the head and neck,who had tumor growth following local treatment (surgery and/or radiation) and after platinum chemotherapy, Erbitux alone was shown to cause tumor shrinkage in 13 out of 103 patients with.

Precautions for Erbitux

  • Wear sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing, and limit sun exposure during treatment with Erbitux.
  • Women who can become pregnant should avoid pregnancy and use contraception during treatment with Erbitux.

Women should not breastfeed during treatment with Erbitux and for 60 days after the last dose.

Side Effects of Erbitux

Serious side effects of Erbitux include:

  • infusion reaction (difficulty breathing, low blood pressure)
  • skin reactions (rash, peeling/skin damage)
  • lung disease
  • fever
  • infection in the blood
  • kidney failure
  • blood clot in the lung
  • loss of water and salt from the body (dehydration)
  • diarrhea

In addition to the above, serious side effects of Erbitux when used in combination with radiation treatment include:

  • cardiopulmonary arrest
  • mouth sores that prevent swallowing of liquids
  • severe radiation skin reaction
  • confusion

The most common side effects of Erbitux include:

  • acne-like rash
  • tiredness
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • constipation

In addition to the above, common side effects of Erbitux when used in combination with radiation treatment include:

  • mouth sores
  • radiation skin rash
  • weight loss
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
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