Trastuzumab may lead to serious heart problems, including heart failure. The risk of heart problems is increased if you also use an anthracycline (e.g., doxorubicin). Your doctor may need to stop this medication if heart problems occur.
Trastuzumab use may sometimes result in a serious reaction to the IV infusion with serious lung problems. If these problems occur, they usually happen while the drug is being given or within 24 hours of the dose. If you have trouble breathing or severe dizziness/fainting, tell your doctor or pharmacist right away because your IV infusion may need to be stopped.
Trastuzumab can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy.Who should not take Herceptin intravenous?
Trastuzumab is used alone or with other medications to treat certain types of breast cancer. It is also used along with other medications to treat certain types of stomach cancer. The types of cancers trastuzumab is used to treat are tumors that produce more than the normal amount of a certain substance called HER2 protein.
This medication is called a monoclonal antibody. It works by attaching to the HER2 cancer cells and blocking them from dividing and growing. It may also destroy the cancer cells or signal the body (immune system) to destroy the cancer cells.
Trastuzumab is not the same as trastuzumab emtansine or ado-trastuzumab emtansine. Do not substitute trastuzumab emtansine or ado-trastuzumab emtansine for trastuzumab.
This medication will be given by a health care professional. It is given slowly by vein (IV), usually once a week for breast cancer or once every 3 weeks for stomach cancer or as directed by your doctor. Your first infusion will be given over at least 90 minutes.
The dose, the speed of your injection, and the length of time you receive trastuzumab depends on your body weight, condition, other treatments, and response to trastuzumab treatment.
To get the most benefit from this medication, do not miss any doses. To help you remember, mark the days on the calendar when you need to receive the medication.
Your doctor may prescribe other medications (e.g., acetaminophen, diphenhydramine) for you to take before the start of your treatment to help prevent serious side effects.
See also Warning section.
Diarrhea, redness/irritation at injection (IV) site, muscle/joint/back pain, stomach/abdominal pain, trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, and loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bone pain, increased coughing, swelling of the hands/ankles/feet, sudden unexplained weight gain, unusual tiredness, severe headache, tingling/numbness (e.g., in the hands, feet, leg), mental/mood changes, fast/pounding heartbeat, easy bruising/bleeding.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, vision changes, confusion.
This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Tell your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.
This medication can sometimes cause a serious infusion (IV) reaction. Immediately tell your doctor of the following side effects that occur while this drug is being given or within 24 hours after your treatment is finished, such as chills, fever, flushing, nausea, headache, dizziness, fainting, rash, and weakness. (See also Warning section.)
Trastuzumab can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor right away if you develop any rash.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
See also Warning section.
Before using trastuzumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other mouse protein medications; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as benzyl alcohol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: previous cancer treatments (including radiation therapy to the chest), current infection, virus infection with returning symptoms (e.g., herpes, shingles), heart disease, high blood pressure, lung problems, previous severe reaction to monoclonal antibody treatment.
Trastuzumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be at greater risk for heart problems (e.g., heart failure).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control with their doctors while using this medication and for at least 7 months after treatment has stopped. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for 7 months after the last dose.
See also Warning section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If you will be using an anthracycline (such as doxorubicin) after stopping trastuzumab treatment, if possible, wait at least 7 months.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as heart exams, complete blood count) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is very important that you do not miss any doses. However, if you miss a dose, contact your doctor right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
Sorry. No images are available for this medication.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet