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Erbitux dosing and frequency question - asap

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Everyone,

I hope for some quick answers here. Dick is supposed to get his first Irinotican and Erbitux treatment tomorrow and one doc says every 2 weeks at 500mg's and the other says every week at 250 mg's. Doc who recommends every two weeks says no difference in rash or efficacy. What are you doing?

Also, Katherine, how did you get insurance to pick up Irinotican + Erbitux + Avastin?


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Well, I'm just the only one standing here right now, Kathleen:)

I've not done Erbitux or the Vectibix...they were next in line for me...and probably would still be.

So, I won't be the one who could answer this...but until someone else reaches out...I'll venture a guess...

The dosage remains the same - only the delivery is different...I would think the 250 every week sounds more manageable than the heavy dose up front...and then then weaning...

Pound for pound, it sounds like he will be getting the med...just how does the delivery make Dick feel seems like the answer you need.

And now, I'll let the real players give you their take...

Aloha and best of luck with these treatments...

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I had started on Erbitux every week back in 2006(?) After a few months of going into the city every week, my Onc suggested going once every two weeks at the higher dose. I've been doing that for the most part ever since. I did a 6 month period of only Erbitux every three weeks (heaven!) but I started to grow lung mets so I went back to the every two week schedule.

If Dick starts every week he certainly should be able to switch if need be. The same would go for starting every two weeks and if need be, go to every week.

I vaguely remember having an issue with insurance over Erbitux (it was just approved at the time) and things were basically presented to them as a Matter of Life or Death for me and it was approved. I'll see if I still have the letter but I can't promise I'll find it.
Be persistent, get Dick's Onc on board. Do whatever you can...

Hope this helps...

Posts: 188
Joined: Apr 2011

My husband only had one dose of irrinotecan, but he had some pretty bad side effects with his WBC, so he didn't have anymore. He has been on Vectibix alone every 2 weeks since July of this year and is doing very well, the rash was a little out of control for awhile, but he has also been getting a steroid with it called dexamethasone and we have been using hydrocortisone ointment which is working very well along with vanicream for the dry skin. Kim

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I am in the same position as the Big Lion from Texas....those are the drugs next on my to do list ....so can't help

just sending hugs from the snowie north.....


ktlcs's picture
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

My husband did Erbitux weekly for nearly a year, combined with Xeloda 1 week on 1 week off, unfortunately he was unable to tolerate the irinotecan due to other medical problems. He did develop the rash and onc insisted that was a sign of efficacy. His CEA went to normal and the liver lesions disappeared on this treatment. We were very lucky that my insurance picked up the cost of both drugs with just a small co pay on the Xeloda.

One word of advice on the Erbitux, stay ahead of the rash, it can get pretty bad. He had it so bad in the beginning it got into his eyes and he wanted to stop treatment. Onc prescribed oral antibiotics and that did the trick. Make sure you get something up front.

I wish both of you luck with this treatment. Will pray for you both.


Goldie1's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Sep 2011

My husband has been on this treatment every other week since Aug. 8th. The rash was his biggest issue, it was pretty bad, and just recently started to improve. No insurance issues with approval. CT scan for chest, abdomen, and pelvis scheduled this Thurs.

Have to say, I don't know how many mg's he receives but he has handled this treatment pretty well, a bit queasy the day after. Most definitely keep on top of the rash.

Best to you and Dick,


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

You are all the best. Thanks for the info. Dick is going to start on the double dose tomorrow and go every other week to start. He began his antibiotic yesterday and also began taking the probiotic 3 times a day. Please pray. It is always scary starting a new drug.


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

i hope it works really well for dick.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

i did Erbitux with FolFox6 for 30 weeks.

got Erbitux every week. Had bad rash and ever nurse and onc was pleased with me getting the rash as there have been studies that the rash is often in direct relationship to how well the drug is working.

tetracycline (or some form of that drug) are truly needed to fight the rash.
its an oral med that i took every day. but i wished they would have started that tetracycline weeks before the erbitux.... i also had eye issues with the rash. and do NOT treat the rash like acne. although it looks like acne.

oh yeah... one more thing... erbitux really worked for me.

now i am on Xeloda with Avastin as a maintenance chemo program.... and no one ever thought I would make it this far.

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