Generic Name: panitumumab (pan i TUE moo mab)
Brand Names: Vectibix
Medically reviewed on August 25, 2017
What is Vectibix?
Vectibix (panitumumab) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Vectibix is used to treat a certain type of metastatic colorectal cancer that has progressed after treatment with other chemotherapy.
Vectibix is used only if your tumor is a wild-type RAS tumor, for which your doctor will test.
Before you receive Vectibix, tell your doctor if you have any allergies or breathing problems.
Vectibix may cause severe skin problems such as acne, itching, redness, skin rash, dryness, peeling, cracking, or oozing, and swelling or infection around your fingernails or toenails. More severe forms of skin problems can lead to widespread infection and possibly death. Seek emergency medical attention at the first sign of any skin rash.
Some people receiving this medicine 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, itchy, short of breath, or if you have a fever or chills during the injection.
The side effects of Vectibix may not appear when you first start using the medication. Severe skin or eye reactions may occur up to 2 weeks after the start of your treatment. These effects may not clear up for weeks or even months after you stop receiving panitumumab.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Vectibix can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
You may have irregular menstrual periods while receiving this medicine.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving this medicine, 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 medication.
Before receiving this medicine
You should not use Vectibix if you are allergic to panitumumab.
To make sure Vectibix 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).
Using Vectibix during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 2 months after your last dose.
You may have irregular menstrual periods while receiving Vectibix.
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.
How is Vectibix given?
Vectibix is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. Before you receive this medicine, you may need to undergo a biopsy to make sure panitumumab is the right medication to treat your cancer.
Vectibix must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 90 minutes to complete.
Vectibix is usually given once every 2 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while using panitumumab. This can lead to very low blood pressure, electrolyte disorders, or kidney failure.
While using Vectibix, 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.
Vectibix dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Colorectal Cancer:
6 mg/kg administered as an intravenous infusion over 60 minutes every 14 days
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Vectibix 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 Vectibix?
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Vectibix 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 treatment.
Panitumumab can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Vectibix side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction ro Vectibix: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, chilled, feverish, or have chest tightness or trouble breathing.
Seek emergency medical attention at the first sign of any skin rash. Vectibix 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;
swelling in your face;
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.
Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.
Common Vectibix 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)
What other drugs will affect Vectibix?
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.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Vectibix (panitumumab)
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- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- En Español
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