Necitumumab

Necitumumab treats advanced lung cancer. It is used with two other chemotherapies.

Necitumumab Overview

Reviewed: November 24, 2015
Updated: 

Necitumumab is a prescription medication used with two other chemotherapy to treat advanced (metastatic) squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

It belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. These work to kill cancer cells. 

This medication is available as a solution to be given into the vein by a healthcare professional. 

Common side effects of necitumumab include skin rash and magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia). 

Patient Ratings for

How was your experience with ?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking ?

What are you taking for?

Choose one
  • Other

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend to a friend?

Necitumumab Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Necitumumab

Necitumumab is a prescription medication used with two other chemotherapy medications to treat advanced (metastatic) squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have not previously received medication specifically for treating their advanced lung cancer.

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

Necitumumab Brand Names

Necitumumab may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Necitumumab Drug Class

Necitumumab is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Necitumumab

Serious side effects have been reported with necitumumab. See the "necitumumab Precautions" section.

Common side effects of necitumumab include the following:

  • low magnesium levels and/or other electrolytes (calcium, potassium, and phosphate) in the blood
  • rash
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

This is not a complete list of necitumumab side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Necitumumab Interactions

No drug interactions have been determined by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Necitumumab Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with necitumumab including the following:

  • blood clots. The risk of blood clots may be higher if you already had a blood clot in the past. Your doctor will observe you and stop your treatment if you develop a serious or life-threatening blood clot.
  • skin reactions. These reactions may include a rash, itchy or dry skin, cracks in the skin, red and swollen skin, and a skin infection around the fingernails or toenails. Skin reactions usually begin during the first 2 weeks of treatment and get better about 4 months after they started. Your doctor may change your dose of necitumumab if you experience a skin reaction. Time in the sun may worsen skin reactions so it is important to limit exposure with protective clothing and sunscreen.
  • allergic reactions. Necitumumab can cause allergic reactions in some people, generally during the first or second dose. Symptoms can include trouble breathing, wheezing, fever, and chills. Your healthcare provider will watch for signs of allergic reactions during the infusion. You may receive medicine before your necitumumab infusion to prevent these reactions.
  • harmful effects to unborn babies. Necitumumab can harm your unborn baby. You should avoid getting pregnant and use adequate birth control while receiving necitumumab and for at least 3 months after stopping the medication.

Do not take necitumumab if you are allergic to the medicine or to any of its ingredients.

Necitumumab Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of necitumumab, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking necitumumab, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to necitumumab or to any of its ingredients
  • have a history of heart problems
  • have a history of high blood pressure
  • have a history of lung problems (COPD)
  • have or are at high risk for blood clots
  • are pregnant or may become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Necitumumab and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Necitumumab may harm your unborn baby. You should avoid getting pregnant and use adequate birth control while receiving necitumumab and for at least 3 months after stopping the medication.

Necitumumab and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if necitumumab crosses into human milk. You should not breastfeed while receiving necitumumab and for at least 3 months after stopping the medication.

Necitumumab Usage

Take necitumumab exactly as prescribed.

This medication is available as a solution to be given into the vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Your doctor may also give you other medications before your necitumumab infusion to help manage possible side effects.

 

Necitumumab Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

Necitumumab is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion through a vein. You will take necitumumab with 2 chemotherapy medications called gemcitabine and cisplatin.

One cycle of treatment takes 21 days and infusions are given on day 1 and day 8, which can continue for up to 6 cycles, or about 18 weeks as long as your treatment is working and you can tolerate it. 

If the treatment is still working and you are able to tolerate it, you may continue to receive necitumumab without chemotherapy on days 1 and 8 of each 21 day cycle for as long as your doctor recommends.

Necitumumab Overdose

If necitumumab is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Necitumumab FDA Warning

WARNING: CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST and HYPOMAGNESEMIA

  • Cardiopulmonary arrest and/or sudden death occurred in 3.0% of patients treated with PORTRAZZA in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin. Closely monitor serum electrolytes, including serum magnesium, potassium, and calcium, with aggressive replacement when warranted during and after PORTRAZZA administration [see Warnings and Precautions].
  • Hypomagnesemia occurred in 83% of patients receiving PORTRAZZA in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin, and was severe in 20% of patients. Monitor patients for hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, and hypokalemia prior to each dose of PORTRAZZA during treatment and for at least 8 weeks following completion of PORTRAZZA. Withhold PORTRAZZA for Grade 3 or 4 electrolyte abnormalities. Replete electrolytes as medically appropriate.