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Living With Cardiotoxicity

What should you expect if you develop cardiotoxicity? Here is the good news: Cardiotoxicity from HER2-targeted therapies tends to be temporary and reversible. For most patients, their heart function will return to normal.

If you have a significant decline in your heart function detected by routine tests or because of symptoms, your provider may recommend you stop HER2-targeted therapies for a short time. Typically, therapy is put on hold for about four weeks and then tests are repeated. In most cases, the heart function returns to normal, and HER2-targeted therapy can start again with close monitoring.

If the heart function does not return to normal, your provider may recommend you stop the medication completely. However, this type of decision is made on an individual basis and in close consultation with your team of health providers, including your oncologist and cardiologist or cardio-oncologist, paired with a careful discussion of what you prefer and value.

Also, heart medicines (noted in the Prevention section) can help the heart recover, and these may also be started.

  • Last Edited 02/28/2018