Trastuzumab (Injection)

Introduction

Trastuzumab (tras-TOOZ-oo-mab)

Treats cancer, including breast, stomach, and esophageal cancer.

Brand Name(s)

Herceptin

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy while you receive this medicine and for 7 months after your treatment ends.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have heart disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, or lung disease.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Heart problems
    • Infusion-related reactions
    • Lung or breathing problems
  • This medicine lowers the number of white blood cells. This weakens your immune system, so you may get infections more easily. Wash your hands often. Avoid people who are sick.
  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. You may also need occasional tests of your heart function during and after treatment.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, fever, vomiting, headache
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea
  • Headache
  • Joint or back pain
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 4/8/2016

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