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Panitumumab Injection

pronounced as (pan i toom' ue mab)


Panitumumab may cause skin reactions, including some that may be severe. Severe skin problems may develop serious infections, which may cause death. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: pimples; itching or redness of the skin, peeling, dry, or cracked skin; or redness or swelling around the fingernails or toenails.

Panitumumab may cause a severe or life-threatening reactions while you receive the medication. Your doctor will watch you carefully when you begin your treatment of panitumumab. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms during your treatment: difficulty breathing or swallowing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, chest tightness, itching. rash, hives, fever, chills, dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, or nausea. If you experience a severe reaction, your doctor will stop the medication and treat the symptoms of the reaction.

If you have a reaction while receiving panitumumab, in the future you may receive a lower dose or you may not be able to receive treatment with panitumumab. Your doctor will make this decision based on the severity of your reaction.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to panitumumab.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking panitumumab.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Panitumumab is used to treat a type of cancer of the colon or rectum that has spread to other areas of the body either during or after treatment with other chemotherapy drugs. Panitumumab is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Panitumumab comes as a solution (liquid) to be given by infusion (injected into a vein). It is usually given by a doctor or nurse in a doctor's office or infusion center. Panitumumab is usually given once every 2 weeks.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking panitumumab,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to panitumumab, or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention if you are receiving treatment with other medications for your cancer, especially bevacizumab (Avastin), fluorouracil (Adrucil, 5-FU), irinotecan (Camposar), leucovorin, or oxaliplatin (Eloxatin). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control during your treatment with panitumumab and for 6 months after you stop receiving this medication. If you become pregnant while taking panitumumab, call your doctor.

    tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with panitumumab or for 2 months after you stop receiving the medication.

  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Panitumumab may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of panitumumab, call your doctor right away.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Panitumumab may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • sores in the mouth
  • pain, while eating or swallowing
  • swelling of the hands, feet , ankles, or lower legs
  • growth of eyelashes

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:

  • cough
  • wheezing
  • muscle cramps
  • sudden tightening of the muscles of the hands or feet
  • muscle cramps and twitching that you cannot control
  • watery or itchy eye(s)
  • red or swollen eye(s) or eyelids
  • eye pain or burning
  • dry or sticky mouth
  • decreased urination or dark yellow urine
  • sunken eyes
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dizziness
  • faintness

Panitumumab may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment with panitumumab.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Vectibix®
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010