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Vectibix Rash

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

Just started on Vectibix last week. Acne rash started yesterday. I called my oncology Doctor today and he called in a prescription for Doxcyline, but only gave me enough for 7 days with no refills. I have read past discussions that other people has taken this and it has helped, however, what I gather from the posts is that this antibiotic is taken longer than just 7 days. I also welcome any other remedies for this acne like rash.

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

Questions-------Do I need to take this doxcyline longer? Is there any one else that is taking the vectibix and how are you treating the rash?

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

which I think is a "cousin" of Vectibix (not positive...) and I take minocyclin daily. I've been doing this for a few years and it seems to help a bit. You can try staying out of the sun and I found that just being in hot areas (even in shade) made it worse.
I'm on a once every 3 week regiment now and the rash is hardly an issue anymore.
Hope this helps Dan

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

Vectibix is a cousin to Erbitux. I could not take the Erbitux due to severe allergic reaction.
Is there any creams or lotions that help? How long does this rash usually last after treatment? My doctor has me on every 2 week regiment.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Look for lotions that are un-scented. It seemed for me that anything with scents irritated things worse. I had more issues with cracked skin. I used aquaphor for that and it helped somewhat. Back to the rash, I've been on Erbitux for about 5 years. When I first went on it the rash was pretty bad but it would lessen after the first week or so. Usually, by the time I was ready for the next dose (every two weeks) it was starting to clear up. Then it would start again. I also had it on my scalp for a while, and torso and legs. I still get some on the torso and legs but my face is usually OK. My profile photo is recent. So, over time it gets less and less. I know the idea is to get off the chemo but in my case, it's keeping things stable and once every 3 weeks is OK by me.
Try to search this site for "Erbitux rash" (in quotes, it narrows down the search) and see what posts turn up. I'd start at the last post and work backwards. If I get a chance I'll try to search too but I have to head out now for a while...

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi Dan,

I haven't posted here for quite some time, have been through quite the journey with chemo over the last 5 months and am currently on a break. In early September, I'll be starting the Vectibix so you and I can compare notes, severity of the rash, etc. Apparently it can hit people with different degrees of severity but it is very common that everyone who is on it tends to get the rash to one degree or another. Something else that seems to be common knowledge, although I don't know if anyone has actually done a study and found out if it's true or not... but if you get the rash, then it's actually a good thing... it means the anti-body is working.

So, I've been doing some looking around so I can be prepared for the rash/side affects, and also be stocked with creams/ointments that others have said work. My oncologist gave me a prescription for the antibiotic that Phil mentioned (I'm lousy with drug names, let alone the spellings)... but it's the antibiotic that starts with "M". As for the Dox... antibiotic that your doctor gave you... I have recently been on it for this nasty bronchitis I came down with that refuses to go away... I've been on it twice now and both times were for 7 days, so I think that's probably a normal dosage. I'm just not sure if it's the right antibiotic for the rashes caused by Erbitux or Vectibix. This one Phil mentioned that starts with "M" is the one that most everyone is prescribed for these rashes.

The following is a post that I found somewhere "out there" when I was using Google for research, so I can't even give credit to the person who wrote the post... but she has quite a few suggestions:

I underwent my second chemotherapy treatment for six months this year. FOLFIRI plus Erbitux. I understand how desperate it is to deal with the side effects while researching for what can help control them. I wish to share what finally helped me with other patients in the hope that it will help in any way deal with these painful and overwhelming side effects:

Mouthsores -
Found Canker Cover at Walgreens. Its an oral canker sore patch. Great relief! Would use a small flashlight to find the sore and use the patch precisely. Avoided toothpaste that contained sodium lauryl sulphate. Used a childrens toothpaste throughout the treatment Sensodyne Pronamel. It was great! Found at Walmart.

The magic mouthwash would numb the pain, but not heal the sores. What would heal the sores was using Lysterine diluted in water, one part mouthwash to one part water. Had avoided Lysterine at first because of the alcohol, yet it was a great relief to healing the mouthsores! Would use this mouthwash various times a day to simply avoid new sores. Generic brand that is ADA approved worked just fine.

Would ask for ice chips while getting my chemotherapy infusion.

Acneiform Skin Rash –

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream is great to treat this rash!

Also, was prescribed Minocycline from my oncologist the second time I broke out with the rash. I didn’t get the rash throughout the rest of the treatment.

Would use face wash Topix Glycolix Elite Ultra Gentle Cleanser recommended by an oncology nurse. Found at www.skin-etc.com

Also, used Lindi Skin Face Serum. It’s a very good product for this rash! Purchased online.

For the body, would bath with Selson Blue Moisturizing Shampoo.

Conjuntivitis, Red Itchy Eyes –

Was recommended Zyrtec Allergy tablets 10mg by an oncology nurse. It worked great!

Sores around Toe Nail –

Foot spas with warm water and Epson salt were a relief. Daily twice avg 20-30 minutes better.

Also, used Mercuroclear antiseptic.

The use of bandaids on the toe area helped walk easier with closed shoes.

I will be heading downtown this week or next week to check out the Clinique product in the beauty/makeup dept of any major department store that carries all the big names of cosmetics. I have always liked Clinique's products and they are scent-free. I have not actually used this Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream that she recommends so I think it's a good investment to have on hand when I start the Vectibix treatment.

My oncologist did say the worst of the rash will probably happen with the first treatment, then with each treatment after that it will get better and better as the body gets used to it. But I prefer to have whatever products I need to remain as comfortable as possible during this treatment.

Hope some of this helps!



Bear23's picture
Posts: 84
Joined: Jan 2010

I've been on Vectibix for a year. The 1st treatment gave me a grade 3-4 rash on face chest and back. Oh I also started this with Irinotecan. I was put on doxycycline for about a month. I used a clindomicin gel on the worst of it for a while. My dosage was cut by 50% for two treatments after that. As my rash got better, I was raised to 75% and that is what I have stayed on. I was off the Irinotecan for about 6 months and stayed on the Vectibix alone, but now I am back on the Irinotecan too. This is what I have used, and I have many that hurt my face and only used once. For my face, the most sensitive, I wash with Skin Organics Coconut Water, or Borage Dry Skin Therapy Facial Cleanser, I then spritz with Rosewater/Glycerin on a damp face and then moisterize with Skin Organics Raspberry Cocoa nourishing cream or Borage Face Cream. I use Badger Sunscreen on my face. For the rest of my body I was using Tom's Sensitive Skin Bar soap but switched to Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash which really helped my dry skin this winter. I use Eucerin moisturizing lotion SPF 15 on my whole body at least once a day and for the itchy part twice a day. I have also used Vitamin E lotion 5000-25000iu, a JASON product, which is good. I use Bath and Bodyworks (old name) Lay it on Thick, on my hands and feet.

My rash has reduced significantly. So there is hope. The sun and heat will make the rash come out more. You can burn easily, especially if you are on antibiotics. I wear a widebrim hat most of the time I am outside. I have a sun shirt. I don't seem to have problems with my legs. The first week after treatment is the worst. It will calm down the next week and then the cycle starts again. I am on a two week cycle. A lot of this has just been what has worked for me. I have tried many products and have a drawer filled. If something hurt my face, I didn't use it again. Oh, I also use vaseline on my face on bad spots at night especially on the corners of my eyes and my nostrils.

I hope you find something that works for you. Keep trying! Good Luck!


Nana2's picture
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Dan, My husband had an allergic reaction to the Erbitux too. He is also on the Vecibix every two weeks and just had his 4th treatment. He did start the rash on his face, neck and head about a week after his first treatment. He is on two antibioticws, one is topical called Clindamycin gel and oral called Doxycycline Hyclate. The naturapathic doctor also added sulfur tablets 3 tabs 3xdaily. So far his rash is barely noticable. His nose gets red sometimes. Watch the sun. But it's been pretty mild so far. Our naturapath works with our oncologist so I know the sulfer is safe. Maybe is would help. I will say it seems his rash has simmered down some since the first couple of weeks, so maybe you'll start to see some improvement.
take care,

Calton's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2017

hey Dan, I'm an RN, plus a consult for 2 dermatologist. We have product that can help tremendously with the rash from vectibix. I would love to talk to you about these products. 

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5216
Joined: Jan 2013

Hello Calton

TrapperDan has not posted since 2012. Not always a good sign, though some choose to leave the forum as it can get very depressing with so many folks dying. 

Thank you for your concern though. 


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