The dose of Erbitux your healthcare provider prescribes will be calculated based on your body surface area, although other factors also play a role, such as how well you tolerate it. You will be monitored for infusion reactions for at least an hour after receiving the drug and likely will be given an antihistamine before your first dosage as a preventive measure.
An Introduction to Your Dosage of ErbituxThe dose of Erbitux® (cetuximab) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on:
- The reason you are using it
- Your height and weight
- Other medications you are taking
- How well you tolerate the medication.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Erbitux Dosing for Head and Neck CancerThe standard dosage of Erbitux for the treatment of squamous cell cancer of the head and neck is based on body surface area, which is normally calculated using height and weight. Dosing that is based on body surface area is expressed as milligrams per meter squared, or mg per m2.
The specific recommended dosage of Erbitux is 400 mg per m2 in the first week, followed by 250 mg per m2 each week of treatment thereafter.
If you are receiving Erbitux in addition to radiation treatment, you will be given your first dosage one week before starting radiation. Subsequent doses will be given so that the dose is complete one hour before radiation. Treatment will continue for the remainder of radiation therapy (normally six or seven weeks).
If you are receiving Erbitux in addition to platinum-based chemotherapy (cisplatin or carboplatin) and fluorouracil (Adrucil®, Carac®, Efudex®, Fluoroplex®, also known as 5-FU), you will receive your platinum-based chemotherapy and 5-FU one hour after Erbitux. Treatment will continue until the cancer no longer appears to be responding or until potentially serious side effects occur.