Vectibix

1 What is Vectibix?

Brand: Vectibix

Generic: Panitumumab

Vectibix injection is a monoclonal antibody used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat metastatic cancer of the colon or rectum in patients who have already received other cancer treatments.

This drug is only indicated for patients who have a positive KRAS gene mutation test. This drug interferes with the growth of cancer cells by competitively binding with ligands for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor.

The growth of normal body cells may also be affected by this drug. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your healthcare professional.

Discuss with your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of this drug before you begin treatment with it. This drug will only be given by or under the immediate supervision of your healthcare professional.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Vectibix, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Studies in children regarding the correlation of age to the effects of panitumumab injection have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established.

Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of panitumumab injection. Adjustments in the dose of the elderly may be required since are more likely to have unwanted side effects such as diarrhea.

Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs.

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Eye disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • or Skin or nail disorder

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Vectibix requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. A trained healthcare professional will be only to give you this drug in a hospital or cancer treatment center.

This drug is administered intravenously through a needle placed in one of your veins. This drug needs to be given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for at least an hour.

Nausea and vomiting have been associated with the use of this drug. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Vectibix, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests.

This drug has teratogenic potential and it is recommended to use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for 6 months after the last dose of this drug. If you think you have become pregnant while using the drug, tell your healthcare professional immediately.

This drug should not be used with oxaliplatin, and if you have mutant KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer or if your KRAS tumor status is unknown. This drug can cause serious skin problems that may possibly lead to life-threatening infections.

Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you have skin changes such as:

  • A skin rash
  • Itchiness
  • Skin redness or swelling
  • Dry, peeling skin or fissures
  • Fingernail changes while using this drug

Tell your healthcare professional immediately if you are having shortness of breath, chest tightness, or any type of breathing problem while receiving this drug.

Consult with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of infusion reaction such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Swelling in your face or hands
  • Lightheadedness
  • If you feel like fainting within a few hours after you receive this drug

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after your treatment. You may be referred to an ophthalmologist to have your eyes checked.

This drug may cause severe kidney disease in patients who have severe diarrhea and dehydration. This drug may also increase your risk of having an electrolyte imbalance.

Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you start having:

  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, ankles, or feet
  • Decreased urination
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle cramps or twitching
  • Mood or mental changes
  • Nausea
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness while being treated with this drug

Overexposing your skin to sunlight is not recommended. It is advised to always apply sunscreen or the sun blocking lotions and wear protective clothing and hats while you are receiving this drug and for 2 months after the last dose.

Consult with your healthcare professional before you take any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Vectibix to avoid unwanted potential side effects. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Anxiety
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, ankles, or feet
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Convulsions
  • Cough
  • Decreased urination
  • Deep cracks, grooves, or lines in the skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Discoloration of the fingernails or toenails
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth, lips, or skin
  • Fainting fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Flushing or redness of the skin
  • Increased thirst
  • Itching, pain, and swelling of the eyelid
  • Itching skin or rash
  • Loosening of the fingernails
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Nausea
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Redness or soreness around the fingernails
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or inside the mouth
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sunken eyes
  • Swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Tingling of the hands or feet
  • Trembling troubled to breathe
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Unusual weight gains or loss
  • Unusually warm skin
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes or excessive tearing
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • Facial swelling
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Noisy breathing
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Chest discomfort
  • Painful breathing
  • Quick, shallow breathing
  • Slight fever
  • Bleeding
  • Blistering
  • Burning
  • Coldness
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Feeling of pressure
  • Hives
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Lumps
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Redness,
  • Scarring
  • Soreness
  • Stinging
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Tingling, or warmth at the injection site
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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