Necitumumab (Portrazza)

Necitumumab injection may cause a serious and life-threatening problem of heart rhythm and breathing. Your doctor will order certain tests before your infusion, during your infusion, and for at least 8 weeks after your final dose to check your body’s response to necitumumab. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lower than normal levels of magnesium, potassium, or calcium in your blood, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, or other heart problems. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: chest pain; shortness of breath; dizziness; loss of consciousness; or fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving necitumumab injection.

The basics

Necitumumab is an FDA-approved treatment used with gemcitabine (Gemzar) and cisplatin to treat for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body.

Necitumumab is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by helping your immune system slow or stop cancer cell growth.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about necitumumab.

How should I take Necitumumab (Portrazza)?

Patient getting IV chemotherapy

Necitumumab injection is given into a vein over 1 hour by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually given on certain days every 3 weeks. The length of treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication and the side effects that you experience.

Your doctor may need to stop or delay your treatment if you experience certain side effects. It is important for you to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with necitumumab.

If you experience a reaction to necitumumab, your doctor may stop giving you the medication for a time or may give it to you more slowly. Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help prevent or relieve these symptoms. Do not stop taking treatment without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of necitumumab (Portrazzi)?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • leg pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, or warmth
  • sudden chest pain or tightness
  • weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
  • slurred speech
  • difficulty swallowing
  • coughing up blood
  • vision changes

Necitumumab injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving necitumumab (Portrazza)

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are receiving necitumumab injection. Talk to your Doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.

While you are on necitumumab (Portrazza)

  • If you become pregnant while receiving necitumumab injection, call your doctor immediately. Necitumumab injection may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while receiving necitumumab and for 3 months after your final dose.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Necitumumab injection may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Portrazza®

Last Revised – 06/19/2023, FDA-updated- 02/15/2016, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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