Generic Name: panitumumab (pan i TUE moo mab)
Brand Name: Vectibix
What is panitumumab?
Panitumumab is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Panitumumab is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer that has progressed after treatment with other chemotherapy.
Panitumumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about panitumumab?
Panitumumab may cause severe skin problems that can lead to widespread infection and possibly death. Seek emergency medical attention at the first sign of any skin rash.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving panitumumab?
You should not use panitumumab if you are allergic to it.
To make sure panitumumab is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
lung disease, breathing problems;
an ulcer on the cornea of your eye (keratitis); or
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in your blood).
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether panitumumab will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving panitumumab, whether you are a man or a woman. Panitumumab use by either parent may cause birth defects. Continue using birth control for 6 months after you stop receiving this medicine.
It is not known whether panitumumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
You may have irregular menstrual periods while receiving panitumumab.
How is panitumumab given?
Before you receive this medicine, you may need to undergo a biopsy to make sure panitumumab is the right medication to treat your cancer.
Panitumumab is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Panitumumab must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 90 minutes to complete.
Panitumumab is usually given once every 2 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.
While using panitumumab, you may need frequent blood tests. Your skin and vision may also need to be checked. Panitumumab can have long lasting effects on your body. You may need frequent medical tests for up to 8 weeks after you stop using this medicine.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your panitumumab injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving panitumumab?
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Panitumumab can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) during treatment and for at least 2 months you after stop receiving panitumumab
Panitumumab side effects
Some people receiving a panitumumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, or have a fever, chills, chest tightness, or trouble breathing during the injection.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Seek emergency medical attention at the first sign of any skin rash. Panitumumab may cause severe skin problems that can lead to widespread infection and possibly death.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe or ongoing diarrhea;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack, feeling short of breath;
redness, swelling, or irritation of your eyes or eyelids, vision changes;
feeling weak or tired, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss;
dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
signs of a kidney problem--little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath; or
skin problems--severe or worsening acne, swelling or infection around your fingernails or toenails, skin itching, redness, dryness, peeling, cracking, or oozing.
Common side effects may include:
acne, dry skin, rash, itching;
swelling or irritation around your fingernails or toenails;
loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea;
blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
tired feeling, weakness; or
low potassium--confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Panitumumab dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Colorectal Cancer:
6 mg/kg administered as an intravenous infusion over 60 minutes every 14 days
What other drugs will affect panitumumab?
Other drugs may interact with panitumumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about panitumumab
- Other brands: Vectibix
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about panitumumab.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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