Last update Aug. 7, 2019
A monoclonal antibody that inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) function.
Indicated in the treatment of colorectal cancer.
It is administered intravenously once a week.
Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.
Its very high molecular weight makes its excretion in breastmilk very unlikely. The zero or negligible transfer to breastmilk of other similar monoclonal antibodies such as adalimumab, certolizumab, golimumab, infliximab, natalizumab, rituximab and ustekinumab (Matro 2018, Bragnes 2017, Witzel 2014, Fritzsche 2012) has been demonstrated.
Due to its protein nature, it is inactivated in the gastrointestinal tract, and is not absorbed, (it has virtually no oral bioavailability), which hinders or prevents its transfer from breastmilk to infant plasma (Whittam 2019, Bragnes 2017, Götestam 2016, Witzel 2014, Butler 2014) except in premature babies and the immediate neonatal period, when there may be greater intestinal permeability.
Expert authors consider the use of monoclonal antibodies to be safe or very probably safe during breastfeeding (Whittam 2019, Matro 2018, Anderson 2016, Witzel 2014, Pistilli 2013).
Given the strong existing evidence regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for the development of babies and the health of mothers, it is advisable to evaluate the risk-benefit of any maternal treatment, including chemotherapy, individually advising each mother who wishes to continue with breastfeeding (Koren 2013).
We do not have alternatives for Cétuximab.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain
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