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Definition: Pruritus or itch in EGFRI-treated patients is due to the Acneiform rash or to the Xerosis or eczema.1

Incidence: Very common2,3,4,5,6

Onset: Concomitantly with acneiform eruption and/or Xerosis/eczema.

Resolution: Within 4 weeks of completion of EGFRI treatment.

ICD10 codes:

  • L29.8 Other specified Pruritus.
  • Y43.8 Other drugs, medicaments and biological primarily systemic substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic use, not elsewhere classified.

Grade 1

Mild or localised; topical intervention indicated.

Grade 2

Intense or widespread; intermittent; skin changes from scratching (eg oedema, papulation, Excoriations, Lichenification, oozing/Crusts); oral intervention indicated; limiting instrumental ADL (refers to preparing meals, shopping for groceries or clothes, using the telephone, managing money, etc).

Grade 3

Intense or widespread; constant; limiting self care ADL (refers to bathing, dressing and undressing, feeding self, using the toilet, taking medications, and not confined to bed) or sleep; oral corticosteroid or immunosuppressive therapy indicated.


1Segaert S & Van Cutsem E. Ann Oncol 2005; 16: 1425-1433.
2European Medicine Agency. Tarceva® (erlotinib) Summary of Product Characteristics 2009.
3European Medicine Agency. Iressa® (gefitinib) Summary of Product Characteristics 2009.
4European Medicine Agency. Erbitux® (cetuximab) Summary of Product Characteristics 2009.
5European Medicine Agency. Vectibix® (panitumumab) Summary of Product Characteristics 2009.
6European Medicine Agency. Tyverb® (lapatinib) Summary of Product Characteristics 2010.

Page last updated in 2009.

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