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FDA issues warning for patients on Erbitux

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is warning doctors to monitor patients who take Erbitux, a drug for colorectal cancer, for an hour after they receive an injection because of occasional reactions that include trouble breathing, hives or dangerously low blood pressure.

The Food and Drug Administration, along with manufacturers ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb, on Wednesday announced changes to the drug's warning label that includes the monitoring advice.

The warning says about 3 percent of patients who receive an Erbitux injection have a severe reaction. It says fatalities are rare — fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of patients on the drug — but does not provide specifics.