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trastuzumab (Herceptin)

Brand Names: Herceptin

Generic Name: trastuzumab

What is trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Trastuzumab is used to treat certain types of breast cancer or stomach cancer, sometimes in combination with other cancer medicines.

Trastuzumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, short of breath, or if you have a headache, fever, or chills.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or worsening cough, fever, wheezing, or trouble breathing;
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • chest pain spreading to your jaw;
  • swelling in your lower legs, rapid weight gain;
  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed; or
  • signs of tumor cell breakdown--confusion, weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, fast or slow heart rate, decreased urination, tingling in your hands and feet or around your mouth.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Do not use if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Trastuzumab can cause heart failure, especially if you have heart disease or if you are also receiving certain other cancer medicines.

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregivers if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, short of breath, or if you have a headache, fever, or chills.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

You should not be treated with trastuzumab if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Trastuzumab can cause heart failure, especially if you have heart disease or if you are also receiving certain other cancer medicines (such as daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, or idarubicin)

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Do not use trastuzumab if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause injury or death to the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 7 months after your last dose.

If you become pregnant while using trastuzumab or within 7 months after you stop, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of trastuzumab on the baby.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine and for up to 7 months after your last dose. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is trastuzumab given (Herceptin)?

Your doctor will perform a medical test to make sure trastuzumab is the right medicine to treat your cancer.

Trastuzumab is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Trastuzumab is usually given once every week or every 3 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

This medicine must be given slowly, and the infusion can take at least 90 minutes to complete.

You may need frequent medical tests to be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

SLIDESHOW

Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment See Slideshow

What happens if I miss a dose (Herceptin)?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your trastuzumab injection.

What happens if I overdose (Herceptin)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What other drugs will affect trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Other drugs may affect trastuzumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Trastuzumab can have long lasting effects on your heart, especially if you receive other cancer medicines. For at least 7 months after your last dose of trastuzumab, tell any doctor who treats you that you have used this medicine.

Where can I get more information (Herceptin)?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about trastuzumab.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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Reviewed on 7/24/2019

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