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Colon cancer blog: New Warnings for Erbitux

Colon cancer blog Colon cancer main Treatment of colon cancer  

Sep 15, 2005

New Warnings for Erbitux

New Warnings for ErbituxThe drug Erbitux (cetuximab) used for advanced colorectal cancer can lead to some problems after the injection. The government is warning doctors to monitor patients who take Erbitux, for an hour after they receive an injection because of occasional reactions that include trouble breathing, hives or dangerously low blood pressure.

The Food and Drug Administration, along with manufacturers ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb, on Wednesday announced changes to the drug's warning label that includes the monitoring advice.

As per the issued warning about 3 percent of patients who receive an Erbitux injection may have a severe reaction. Fatalities are rare, in the order of fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of patients on the drug, but does not provide specific details.

The drug can also cause electrolyte imbalance and the label calls for periodic monitoring of blood electrolytes in patients who are taking the drug for several weeks.

Erbitux is FDA approved to treat patients with advanced colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Erbitux is the first monoclonal antibody approved to treat this type of cancer and is indicated as a combination treatment to be given intravenously with irinotecan, another drug approved to fight colorectal cancer, or alone if patients cannot tolerate irinotecan. Avastin (bevacizumab) is another monoclonal antibody used in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer.

Sue      Return to Colon Cancer Blog Main


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Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the large intestine or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year over 100,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. Most, of these cancers develop from growths in the colon called polyps. Removal of these polyps can prevent colon cancer.

Colon cancer blog: New Warnings for Erbitux

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