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Ramucirumab (Generic Name)

UPMC Content 2

About This Drug​

Ramucirumab is a drug used to treat patients with certain types of stomach cancer.  It is given in the vein (IV).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • High blood pressure
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • Infusion reactions. This can cause you to have shaking chills, back pain, flushing, and low blood pressure
  • Changes in liver function tests

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Headache
  • Low sodium level
  • Rash
  • Nose bleeds
  • Protein in the urine

Treating Side Effects

  • If you get a rash, do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may.  Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.  Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.  A rash that looks like acne may happen on your face and upper back when taking this drug.  Your doctor can give you medicine to help treat this.
  • Your doctor will check your sodium level, blood pressure, liver function tests and your urine while you are taking this drug.
  • If you have a nose bleed, sit with your head tipped slightly forward. Apply pressure by lightly pinching the bridge of your nose between your thumb and forefinger. Call your doctor if you feel dizzy or faint or if the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Ramucirumab may cause slow wound healing. Talk to your doctor before you have any surgeries.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen the loose bowel movements.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are known interactions with ramucirumab and grapefruit. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this drug.
  • This drug may also interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help. 

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nose bleed that does not stop after 10-15 minutes
  • Extreme fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)  4  times or loose bowel movements with weakness or a feeling lightheaded

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Rash

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby so effective methods of birth control should be used by you and your partner during your cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose. 
  • Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Breast feeding warning: Women should not breast feed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

New: July 2014