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Cetuximab – Intravenous - Patient Medicine Information

> Why do I need this medicine?
> How do I use this medicine?
> What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?
> When should I not use this medicine?
> What should I take note of while using this medicine?
> What side effects could I experience?
> Can I use this with other medicines?
> What special dietary instructions should I follow?
> How should I store this medicine?

 

Why do I need this medicine?

Cetuximab is used on its own, together with other medicines, or radiation therapy to treat certain types of head and neck cancer.

This medicine may also be used on its own or together with other medicines to treat colon and rectum cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) (RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer).

How do I use this medicine?

Cetuximab injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.

Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage and course of the treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.

What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?

Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Cetuximab.

If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.

When should I not use this medicine?

Before starting treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer, your doctor will test your cancer cells to see if it contains either the normal (wild-type) or mutant form of RAS genes. This medicine is used to treat those who have the normal RAS genes. You must not receive Cetuximab in combination with other anticancer medicines that contains oxaliplatin if your cancer cells are the mutant form or if your RAS status is unknown.

Do not use Cetuximab if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while you are being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately.

Do not breastfeed during therapy and for 2 months after stopping the treatment.

What should I take note of while using this medicine?

Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • heart disease e.g. coronary artery disease (disorder of the blood vessels of the heart), heart failure, irregular heartbeat
  • lung disease or breathing problems
  • severe infection, history of infection that keeps on coming back, or any conditions that may be a risk factor for an infection to develop
  • eye problems or if you are wearing contact lenses
  • history of tick bites
  • red meat allergy
You must use proven birth control methods during therapy and for 2 months after stopping the treatment. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.

Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.

This medicine may cause sensitivity to light. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid direct or prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • To know if this medicine is suited for you, pregnancy test may be done before treatment initiation.
  • Your doctor may need to do certain blood tests (e.g. magnesium, calcium, potassium) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.

What side effects could I experience?

Cetuximab may cause any of the following side effects: headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, eye irritation or redness, and skin reactions (e.g. acne-like rash, dry skin, skin irritation or scaling, and nail problems).

Some side effects may be serious. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
  • breathing problems e.g. difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath
  • signs of infection e.g. fever, chills, night sweats, flu-like symptoms, sore throat, mouth sore, tiredness, persistent cough
  • dizziness, fainting
  • chest pain or tightness
  • rashes with skin peeling or blisters / rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.

Can I use this with other medicines?

Avoid vaccinations during Cetuximab therapy.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Avoid alcohol.

How should I store this medicine?

Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.

Protect from light. Light may cause the medication to lose some of its effectiveness.

Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Cetuximab – Intravenous and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2019 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com

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