Panitumumab is available by prescription and is given to help slow down the progression of colorectal cancer. It is used when the cancer has spread to other areas of the body despite other chemotherapy treatments, and is only used when there is a certain type of protein on the surface of the cancer cells. It is administered intravenously (by IV) every 14 days.
What Is Panitumumab?Panitumumab (Vectibix®) is a prescription medication approved to treat colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) that has spread to other areas of the body after treatment with other chemotherapy. It is only used in the treatment of cancer that has a certain protein, known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), on the surface of the cancer cells.
(Click What Is Panitumumab Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
Are There Side Effects?Just like any medicine, panitumumab can cause side effects. Although not everyone who receives the drug will experience problems, most people will develop some type of side effect during panitumumab treatment.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of panitumumab include but are not limited to:
- Skin reactions, such as a rash, itching, and redness
- Low blood magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
- Infections of the fingernails and toenails
- Abdominal (stomach) pain.
(Click Panitumumab Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)