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trastuzumab

Pronunciation: tras TOO zoo mab

Brand: Herceptin

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

Multum nopreg

Do not use trastuzumab if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

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.

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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.

What is trastuzumab?

Trastuzumab is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Trastuzumab is used to treat certain types of breast cancer or stomach cancer. Other cancer medicines are sometimes used in combination with trastuzumab.

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.

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FDA 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.

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It 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 injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Trastuzumab must be given slowly, and the IV infusion 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 week or every 3 weeks. 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?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving trastuzumab?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

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.

Multum emt

Get 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.

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Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • cough or wheezing;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat; or
  • pale skin, trouble concentrating, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

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

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss;
  • headache, muscle pain;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat;
  • mild rash;
  • altered sense of taste; 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 interact with trastuzumab. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start 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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