Cetuximab is used in the treatment of certain head, neck and colorectal cancers .
What is Cetuximab?
It is a monoclonal antibody. It works by stopping the action of a fundamental growth factor for the development and survival of certain types of cancer cells.
How is Cetuximab taken?
Cetuximab is administered intravenously . It can be used alone or together with other medications or radiation therapy.
Side effects of Cetuximab
Cetuximab can increase the sensitivity of the skin to the sun and decrease the body’s ability to hinder infections.
Among its other possible side effects we also find:
- nail ailments;
- diarrhea ;
- dry mouth ;
- skin dryness ;
- hair loss;
- joint pain ;
- loss of appetite;
- mild acne;
- slight pain in the throat;
- nausea ;
- stomach upset
- changes in the sense of taste;
- fatigue ;
- sleep disorders;
- He retched;
- weight loss;
It is essential to notify a doctor immediately in the presence of:
- rash ;
- urticaria ;
- itching ;
- breathing problems;
- feeling of tightness in the chest;
- swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue;
- unusual hoarseness;
- bone pain;
- burning, numbness or tingling;
- chest, jaw or arm pain;
- blood in the sputum;
- decreased urination;
- pain, redness, swelling or irritation of the eyes or eyelids;
- continuous fever, chills or sore throat;
- changes in mood or behavior;
- skin disorders;
- muscle pain, weakness or cramps;
- lung or respiratory disorders;
- pain, redness or swelling at the injection site;
- severe pain in the head;
- severe acne;
- sores on the lips or in the mouth;
- stiff neck;
- sudden nausea or vomiting;
- swelling of the hands, legs or feet;
- low magnesium in the blood;
- unusual sweats;
- severe oral or ocular dryness;
Contraindications and warnings on the use of Cetuximab
Cetuximab can be contraindicated in the presence of alterations to the K-RAS gene .
Before administration it is essential to warn the doctor :
- possible allergies to the active substance, to its excipients, to any other medicine, to foods or other substances;
- medicines, phytotherapics and supplements taken;
- if you suffer (or have suffered) from lung or respiratory disorders, abnormalities in electrolyte levels in the blood, respiratory tract infections. blood vessel disorders or heart problems;
- in the presence of radiotherapy or scheduled chemotherapy;
- in the event of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
It is essential to notify doctors, surgeons and dentists of Cetuximab therapy.During treatment and at least for 6 months after stopping, both men and women must use effective birth control methods .In addition, live vaccines should not be taken while taking Cetuximab .The medicine may affect your ability to drive or operate dangerous machinery. This side effect can be aggravated by alcohol and certain medications.