Erbitux + CPT-11 - Questions

Elizbet Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hello - I am writing on behalf of my aunt, whose message is below. If anyone has any information or feedback, please let me know - she starts treatment Monday. Thanks! Elizabeth

Dear Cancer Patients,
I have Pancreatic Cancer and will be treated with Erbitux and CPT11.
Can you tell me what premeds you take before the infusions and what side effects you experience. Do you have any tips on symptom maintenance?


  • VonnieKai
    VonnieKai Member Posts: 30
    Hi Emily
    You're lucky to have a niece like Elizabeth, but I'm sure you know that. I hope things are going well for you. My husband has taken CPT-11 and is currently on Erbitux and Xeloda. He hasn't ever taken Erbitux and CPT-11 together.
    There were no "pre-meds" before either infusion. With the CPT-11, his primary side effects were diarrhea, nausea, weakness/exhaustion. The diarrhea didn't start until several days after the first infusion. He took a lot (A LOT!!) of immodium. The oncologist told him to always carry a bottle of immodium pills wherever he went and to take two in the morning, two at night, and one every couple of hours and whenever he started to have diarrhea. That was the primary side effect. He also had some nausea. We tried a couple of prescriptions for that, one was real expensive (Kytril?) and the other was cheap (compazine). Neither one worked that well. He got some mouth sores and we used "Miracle Mouthwash" for that, which the pharmacist can mix up (with a prescription). He also lost his hair on the CPT-11, but it grew back thicker and darker than before. The main side effect for the Erbitux is the acne-like rash - he gets little pimples/pustules on his neck, face and chest. The rash isn't as bad now as it was when he started Erbitux. He has been on Erbitux for over a year now. He was on CPT-11 about 5-7 months, it was awhile ago and I don't remember exactly how long he took it. I don't know what you can do for symptom maintenance on the Erbitux rash - he doesn't do anything - a little lotion every so often when his skin gets dry, but that's about it.
    Take care.
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
    Hi, I had (?) colon cancer with liver mets, now I have lung mets. I just started taking Erbitux and I am taking CPT-11. I had done 6 months of CPT-11 and FUDR prior to this time around. My side effects were different. The CPT-11 caused me constipation, which would start about 24-36 hours after my infusion, then last 4-5 days. Things moved, but s-l-o-w-l-y. I never had diarrhea with any chemo (go figure), nor did I feel nausea. My energy level was lower, but I manage to swim/kayak most every day. I do have the rash, it is pretty bad. I am taking an anti-biotic, plus a steriod cream and anti-biotic gel too. I will be off the anti-biotic pill in a few days. The rash seems worse with the heat. I have not lost my hair, nor did I grow extra hair. It's strange how the side effects are different for everyone. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck!