Treats breast cancer. Also treats malignant tumor of the stomach and esophagogastric (esophagus and stomach) cancer.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to trastuzumab, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- 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.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- 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.
- Trastuzumab must be given slowly, so the IV tube must remain in place for at least 90 minutes.
- You will be watched closely for unwanted side effects while you are receiving this medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- 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.
- Make sure your doctor knows the cancer medicines you have already have received.
- Before receiving this medicine, tell your doctor if you have ever had a reaction to benzyl alcohol or murine proteins. Murine proteins are used in some medicines for hemophilia, organ or bone marrow transplants, serious blood infections, or to find or treat certain cancers.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for 6 months after the last dose of this medicine. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have a history of heart disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, or lung disease. Tell your doctor if you have had radiation therapy to the chest.
- Your doctor may test your heart before you start receiving trastuzumab and while you are getting treatments with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you experience any chest pain, increased coughing, trouble with breathing, a sudden difficulty with breathing at night, rapid weight gain, or abnormal swelling in your ankles or legs.
- Trastuzumab may cause a serious side effect called an infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have a fever, chills, chest pain, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, headache, rash, pain, trouble with breathing, or weakness within a few hours after you receive it.
- This medicine may lower the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may get infections more easily. To help with these problems, wash your hands often and avoid being near people who are sick or have infections.
- 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.
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.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Pain on urination, or change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed.
- Rapid weight gain.
- Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and bluish-colored skin.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Trouble with breathing.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Change or loss of taste.
- Diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, or stomach pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Muscle, joint, bone, or back pain.
- Skin rash or itching.
- Swelling of the mouth.
- Trouble sleeping.
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
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
This page was last updated: September 18, 2013