Dermatologic toxicities were reported in 90% of patients and were severe in 15% of patients receiving panitumumab monotherapy .
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Immunological Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Uses For This Medicine
Panitumumab injection is used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat metastatic cancer (cancer that spreads to other parts of the body) of the colon or rectum in patients who have already received other cancer treatments. Panitumumab injection should only be used in patients who have a wild type RAS (in both KRAS and NRAS) gene mutation test. This test helps the doctor decide whether the medicine will treat their cancer.
Panitumumab interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed by the body. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by panitumumab, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, such as a skin rash, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects do not occur until months or years after the medicine is used.
Before you begin treatment with panitumumab, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits of panitumumab as well as the risks of using it.
Panitumumab will only be given by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For panitumumab, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to panitumumab or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of panitumumab injection in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of panitumumab injection in the elderly. However, some elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted side effects (eg, diarrhea), which may require caution in patients receiving panitumumab.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of panitumumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Dehydration or
- Diarrhea or
- Electrolyte imbalance (eg, low magnesium, potassium, or calcium in the blood) or
- Eye disease or
- Kidney disease or
- Lung disease (eg, interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis), history of or
- Sensitivity to sunlight or
- Skin or nail disorder—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper Use of This Medicine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you panitumumab in a hospital or cancer treatment center. Panitumumab is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. Panitumumab needs to be given slowly, so the needle will have to remain in place for at least an hour.
Panitumumab sometimes causes nausea and vomiting. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that panitumumab is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using panitumumab while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with panitumumab and for 2 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
You should not receive panitumumab if you are also using oxaliplatin and have mutant KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer or if your KRAS tumor status is unknown.
Some patients who use panitumumab develop serious skin problems that may lead to infections that can become life-threatening. Tell your doctor right away if you have skin changes, such as a skin rash, itchiness, skin redness or swelling, dry, peeling skin or fissures, or fingernail changes while using panitumumab.
Panitumumab may cause scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis), swelling of the lungs (pneumonitis), or interstitial lung disease. These are life-threatening conditions and require immediate medical attention. The symptoms may be similar to the symptoms of lung cancer. Check with your doctor right away if you have new or worsening cough, fever, or trouble breathing.
Panitumumab may cause infusion-related reactions, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have a fever, chills or shaking, dizziness, trouble breathing, itching or rash, lightheadedness or fainting after receiving panitumumab.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after your treatment. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Panitumumab may cause severe kidney disease in patients who have severe diarrhea and dehydration. Panitumumab may also increase your risk of having an electrolyte imbalance (eg, low magnesium, potassium, or calcium in the blood). Tell your doctor right away if you start having bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, ankles, or feet, decreased urination, dizziness, headache, lethargy, muscle cramps or twitching, mood or mental changes, nausea, rapid weight gain, or unusual tiredness or weakness while being treated with panitumumab.
Avoid overexposing your skin to sunlight. Always use sunscreen or sun blocking lotions and wear protective clothing and hats while you are receiving panitumumab and for 2 months after the last dose.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
This Medicine Side Effects
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:
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, ankles, or feet
- chest pain
- decreased urination
- deep cracks, grooves, or lines in the skin
- difficulty with swallowing
- discoloration of the fingernails or toenails
- dry mouth, lips, or skin
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- flushing or redness of the skin
- increased thirst
- itching, pain, and swelling of the eyelid
- itching, skin rash
- loosening of the fingernails
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain or cramps
- muscle spasms or twitching
- rapid weight gain
- rapid, shallow breathing
- redness or soreness around the fingernails
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or inside the mouth
- stomach pain
- sunken eyes
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- tearing of the eyes
- tingling of the hands or feet
- troubled breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- unusually warm skin
- Blurred vision
- burning, dry, or itching eyes
- discharge from the eyes or excessive tearing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- facial swelling
- noisy breathing
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
- tightness in the chest
- Chest discomfort
- painful breathing
- quick, shallow breathing
- slight fever
Incidence not known
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, or warmth at the injection site
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about panitumumab
- Panitumumab Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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