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panitumumab

Pronunciation: pan i TUE moo mab

Brand: Vectibix

What is the most important information I should know about panitumumab?

Before you receive panitumumab, tell your doctor if you have any allergies or breathing problems.

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Panitumumab 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 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, itchy, short of breath, or if you have a fever or chills during the injection.

The side effects of panitumumab 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.

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Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Panitumumab 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 panitumumab.

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 medication.

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 should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving panitumumab?

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This medication 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.

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You should not use panitumumab if you are allergic to it.

Before you receive this medication, you may need to undergo a biopsy to make sure panitumumab is the right medication to treat your cancer.

To make sure panitumumab is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:

  • allergies or breathing problems;
  • an ulcer on the cornea of your eye (keratitis); or
  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of calcium or magnesium in your blood).
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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 medication.

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 medication.

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It is not known whether panitumumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using panitumumab.

You may have irregular menstrual periods while receiving panitumumab.

How is panitumumab given?

Panitumumab is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. 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.

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To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Panitumumab can have long lasting effects on your body. Do not miss any follow up visits to your doctor, which may include at least 8 weeks after you stop using panitumumab.

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?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while taking panitumumab?

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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 after stop receiving panitumumab

What are the possible side effects of panitumumab?

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, sweaty, itchy, or have a fever, chills, or trouble breathing during the injection.

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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.

Some of the side effects of panitumumab 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.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • acne, dryness, peeling, cracking, bleeding, oozing, pus, or any other signs of skin infection;
  • swelling or infection around your fingernails or toenails.
  • vision changes;
  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack, feeling short of breath on exertion;
  • feeling weak or tired, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss;
  • swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet;
  • feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • drowsiness, restless feeling, confusion, muscle stiffness, fast or uneven heart rate;
  • redness, swelling, or irritation of your eyes or eyelids; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • diarrhea or constipation; or
  • tired 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.

What other drugs will affect panitumumab?

There may be other drugs that can interact with panitumumab. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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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