This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

The U.S. FDA-approved Cetuximab to treat people with metastatic colorectal cancer and squamous cancer conditions on February 12, 2004.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Cetuximab binds to the protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EFGR). As a result of this binding, cancer cells no longer receive the signal that the cells need for growth and development. Thus, this medication prevents cancer cells from growing. 

Uses of undefined

Cetuximab is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer and squamous cancer of the head and neck by inhibiting the growth and spread of the cancer cells. 

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

It should only be administered by a trained doctor or nurse. Do not self-administer the injection. Before giving the Cetuximab injection, you will be given other antiallergic medicine (pre-medication) to reduce the possible side effects. Your doctor will decide the dose and duration of your treatment based on the disease severity and other factors. It will be given as an intravenous infusion, and you will be monitored carefully for any unwanted side effects. 

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Cetuximab may cause infusion-related side effects, so monitoring your reaction during and even after the treatment is important. Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to this medicine or any of its ingredients Inform your doctor if you are allergic to red meat or tick bite or positive for antibodies; since it makes a severe allergic reaction. Please tell your doctor if you have eye problems like blurred vision, red or severe dry eyes, or eye pain. Inform your doctor if you have heart, lung, or kidney problems before starting this treatment. 


Your doctor will take a blood test to monitor your WBC count; because there is a chance of reducing WBC counts, while taking this medicine with a combination of anticancer medicine (platinum-based therapy) Inform your doctor if you take Fluropyrimidine as an anticancer combination medicine as this medication can cause life-threatening heart problems.  Do not breastfeed or drive while taking the Cetuximab injection. Discuss the effective contraception method as this medicine should not be used during pregnancy. It is unsafe to consume alcohol because it can cause excessive drowsiness. Consult your doctor for more information. 

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Cetuximab are diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, excessive growth of hair in the skin, low blood counts, difficulty breathing, cough, liver problems, infections, headache, weakness, and skin rash.  

Serious side effects while taking Cetuximab are infusion reactions (swelling of face, eyes, mouth, throat, or lips, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest pain, fainting, or fever), heart problems, blistering or peeling of the skin, and vision problems.

Word Of Advice

Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.  Store Cetuximab in the refrigerator (2°C to 8°C). Do not refrigerate or freeze. Contact your doctor for more concerns. If you have missed any dosing appointments, inform your doctor and schedule immediately. Before starting the treatment, your doctor will monitor you to detect whether your blood contains the normal or mutant form of RAS. If they contain, then Cetuximab must not receive in combination with other anticancer treatments containing Oxaliplatin. It is not advised to use in children and adolescents.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Merck Europe BV, Electronic medicines compendium (emc), [Revised on July 2019] [ Accessed on 22nd April 2023],
  2. Eli Lilly and Company, US Food and Drug Administration, [Revised on April 2019] [ Accessed on 22nd April 2023],
  3. Richard M Goldberg; Cetuximab; Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery; Published on May 2005; Accessed on 22nd April 2023; 


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you are eligible to receive this treatment.