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This medication is used to treat a certain type of cancer of the colon (large intestine) or rectum that has spread to other parts of the body. Panitumumab is a man-made protein (monoclonal antibody) that binds to a certain protein (epidermal growth factor receptor-EGFR). It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It is usually given every 14 days or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your weight and response to treatment.
See also Warning section.
Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, constipation, abdominal pain, and growth of eyelashes may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: swelling ankles/feet, unusual weakness, irregular heartbeat, severe muscle spasms, mouth sores, eye redness/itching/irritation, watery eyes, menstrual changes.
Prolonged and/or severe diarrhea may lead to a loss of too much body water and minerals (dehydration). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: extreme thirst, decreased urination, dizziness, fainting.
Rarely, panitumumab has caused very serious lung disease. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of lung disease, including: cough, shortness of breath.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures.
Rarely, panitumumab has caused very serious infusion reactions, including an allergic reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop fever, chills, or symptoms of an allergic reaction.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before receiving panitumumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: lung disease (e.g., pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial pneumonitis), low magnesium/calcium blood levels.
Sunlight may worsen any skin reactions that may occur while you are receiving this drug. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or if your partner becomes pregnant, tell your doctor right away. To avoid pregnancy, both men and women using this drug should use reliable form(s) of birth control (such as birth control pills, condoms) during treatment and for 6 months after the end of treatment. Consult your doctor for details and to discuss effective forms of birth control.
Based on information from related drugs, this medication may pass into breast milk. Therefore, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this medication and for 2 months after the end of treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule.
Certain laboratory tests may be performed before giving panitumumab to check for the EGFR protein in your tumor.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as magnesium/calcium levels) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically during treatment and for 8 weeks after completion of treatment to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.