Necitumumab injection is a prescription medication usually used together with cisplatin and gemcitabine in treating squamous non-small cell lung cancer that already has spread. The drug slows down the growth of cancer cells and these cancer cells are eventually killed by the body’s immune system.
However, while the drug kills cancer cells, it also affects normal body cells, causing unwanted side effects. These side effects are typically normal, but some may be very serious that you may need to seek immediate medical help.
Proper usage of Necitumumab requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Necitumumab is only given under your doctor’s supervision by a trained health professional or nurse.
It is administered by intravenous injection, slowly, in which the needle stays in place for one whole hour. The drug infusion is given on days 1 and 8 of a 3-week cycle.
At times, your doctor may prescribe other drugs to help prevent allergic reactions from taking place.
In using Necitumumab, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. During treatment, it is important that the doctor keeps you monitored to check for unwanted side effects and see if the drug is working properly. You may need to have blood tests from time to time to check adverse effects.
Using this drug during pregnancy is harmful to the unborn baby. Make sure to sue an effective birth control form to avoid pregnancy during treatment and for three months after the last dose was given. Inform your doctor immediately if you think you have become pregnant during treatment.
During treatment, you may experience symptoms of hypomagnesemia. Inform your doctor right away if you experience mood or mental changes, drowsiness, twitching or spasms of the muscle, seizures, or unusual weakness or tiredness upon receiving a dose.
In addition, call your doctor right away if you experience chest pain, which may spread to the neck, jaw, arms or back; coughing up blood, numbness of the arms or legs, nausea, sudden or severe headache, vision problems, problems with speech or walking, breathing difficulties, or unusual sweating.
Using this drug may make increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. While using this drug, it is advisable to use high SPF sunscreen or sunblock when going outdoors.
If you experience tightness in the chest, back pain, chills, and fever, headache, flushing, weakness, nausea, and vomiting, or breathing difficulties, call or visit your doctor right away.