Herceptin - Trastuzumab Injection

What is this medication?

TRASTUZUMAB (tras TOO zoo mab) treats breast cancer and stomach cancer. It works by blocking a protein that causes cancer cells to grow and multiply. This helps to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Herceptin, Herzuma, KANJINTI, Ogivri, Ontruzant, Trazimera

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Heart failure
  • Lung disease
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to trastuzumab, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is injected into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. It is not approved for use in children.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

Keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Certain types of chemotherapy, such as daunorubicin, doxorubicin, epirubicin, idarubicin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication.

This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy affects healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.

This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your care team for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

Avoid taking medications that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your care team. These medications can hide a fever.

Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 7 months after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 7 months after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.

Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 7 months after stopping treatment.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions or angioedema—skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs, trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Dry cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
  • Infusion reactions—chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling faint or lightheaded

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

© 2023 Elsevier/Gold Standard (2023-04-20 00:00:00)


Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Herceptin

Self-Care Tips:

  • Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • This medication causes little nausea.  But if you should experience nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small frequent meals.  Sucking on lozenges and chewing gum may also help. 
  • You may experience drowsiness or dizziness; avoid driving or engaging in tasks that require alertness until your response to the drug is known.
  • For flu-like symptoms, keep warm with blankets and drink plenty of liquids.  There are medications that can help reduce the discomfort caused by chills.
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help relieve discomfort from fever, headache and/or generalized aches and pains.  However, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking it.
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest. 
  • Maintain good nutrition.
  • If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team.  They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

When to contact your doctor or health care provider:

Seek emergency help immediately and notify your health care provider, it you experience the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, closing up of the throat, swelling of facial features, hives (possible allergic reaction).

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency.  Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
  • Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles.  Sudden weight gain
  • Signs of infection such as redness or swelling, pain on swallowing, coughing up mucous, or painful urination.
  • Pain that is unrelieved by prescribed medication

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.


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