trastuzumab

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trastuzumab

Pronunciation:tras TOO zoo mab
Brand:Herceptin

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

nopregDo not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before receiving trastuzumab, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, a history of heart attack, or any allergies or breathing problems. You may not be able to receive trastuzumab, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

emtSome people receiving a trastuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, itchy, or short of breath during the injection.

What is trastuzumab?

Trastuzumab is a cancer medication. It interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in your body.

Trastuzumab is used to treat breast cancer that has progressed after treatment with other chemotherapy.

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

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

Before using trastuzumab, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart disease;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • a history of heart attack; or
  • any allergies or breathing problems.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to receive trastuzumab, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

nopregFDA pregnancy category D. Trastuzumab can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use trastuzumab without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

If you are pregnant, your name may need to be listed on a Cancer and Childbirth registry when you start using this medication.

nobrfeedIt is not known whether trastuzumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is trastuzumab given?

Trastuzumab is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 90 minutes to complete.

Before you receive this medication, you may need to undergo a biopsy to make sure trastuzumab is the right medication to treat your cancer.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your heart function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Trastuzumab is usually given once every 7 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss an appointment for your trastuzumab injection.

What happens if I overdose?

emtSeek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a trastuzumab overdose are unknown.

What should I avoid while receiving trastuzumab?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are being treated with trastuzumab.

What are the possible side effects of trastuzumab?

Some people receiving a trastuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, itchy, or short of breath during the injection.

emtGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
donotCall your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • cough or wheezing;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • sore throat, sinus pain;
  • joint or muscle pain, back pain;
  • headache; or
  • tired feeling.

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 other drugs will affect trastuzumab?

There may be other drugs that can affect trastuzumab. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

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.

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