Warning: This medication can cause serious heart problems, especially if
you are taking anthracycline. The risk for heart problems is greater for elderly patients using Trastuzumab. This
medication can sometimes also be fatal to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the
risks if you are pregnant. In some cases, the benefits of taking Trastuzumab may outweigh the risks so discuss in
depth with your doctor.
Indications: This medication is used alone or with other medicines to
treat certain types of breast cancer. It is also sometimes used to treat cancer of the stomach. Trastuzumab
works by killing cancer cells and attaching to cancer cells to stop them from growing and
This medicine is given intravenously by a health care professional. It is usually given once a week or once every
few weeks depending on they type of cancer you are being treated for.
The medicine is usually given over a period of 90 minutes by IV drip.
Your doctor will determine the exact dosage for this medicine by weighing you, going over your medical condition
and seeing how you respond to therapy. To help ease potential common
side effects such as nausea and body aches, your doctor may also prescribe anti-nausea medications or
Trastuzumab can be
fatal. An overdose of Trastuzumab can result in a decrease in white blood cells and platelets, which can cause
serious or life threatening health problems in some patients. In addition, Trastuzumab overdose can also lead to
kidney problems and/or severe heart problems. Therefore, avoid anything that can weaken your immune system and
the risk of infection. During the treatment, keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory. Tell your
doctor about all abnormal symptoms you experience.
It’s vital to tell your doctor your complete medical history
especially if you have had other cancers and other types of cancer treatments. Also let your doctor know if you
have any infections or reoccurring viruses such has herpes or shingles. Tell your doctor or pharmacist what
medications you are allergic to or if you have any other allergies.
Do not have immunizations or vaccines while taking this medication unless approved by your
doctor. This medicine can cause dizziness so do not drive a
vehicle unless you are alert. This medication could cause harm
to a fetus so do not use during pregnancy. It’s important to
take birth control while taking this medication if you are of a childbearing age. Since it is not known if this medicine is passed through breast milk, do
not breastfeed while taking Trastuzumab.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Trastuzumab is a human IgG 1 type monoclonal antibody directed against the receptor 2 epidermal
growth factor (HER2). It works by inhibiting or stopping the growth of cancer cells that overexpress HER2.
It is important to tell your doctor the medications you are taking before you begin Trastuzumab. Tell your doctor if you are taking any prescription, nonprescription or herbal
medicines. Your doctor will be able to check for potential interactions they may have with this
medication. Certain medicines that can affect this medication are
other anti-cancer drugs, drugs that control blood pressure, immunizations and drugs that affect your immune
system. Always carry a list of all your medications so you can give it to your doctor or pharmacist to check for
Side effects: while attacking cancer cells, Trastuzumab
healthy cells, which cause adverse effects in most patients. Common Trastuzumab side effects
- difficulty sleeping
- infusion reactions
- increased cough
white and red blood cells
If the side
effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor if you experience any
of these symptoms:
or irregular heart beat
- shortness of breath
- intense head ache
- feeling of constriction of the
- swelling of feet or lower
- painful or difficult urination which
Pain in lower back or in the side, accompanied by fever or chills