Kadcyla - Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine Injection

What is this medication?

ADO-TRASTUZUMAB EMTANSINE (ADD oh traz TOO zuh mab em TAN zine) treats breast 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): Kadcyla

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
  • Liver disease
  • Low platelet levels
  • Lung disease
  • Tingling of the fingers or toes or other nerve disorder
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to ado-trastuzumab emtansine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is infused 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. Special care may be needed.

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?

  • Atazanavir
  • Boceprevir
  • Clarithromycin
  • Dalfopristin; quinupristin
  • Delavirdine
  • Indinavir
  • Isoniazid, INH
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Ritonavir
  • Telaprevir
  • Telithromycin
  • Tipranavir
  • Voriconazole

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?

This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect 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.

You may need blood work while taking this medication.

This medication may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your care team if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Be careful brushing or flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medication.

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.

If your partner can get pregnant, use a condom during sex while taking this medication and for 4 months after the last dose.

Do not breastfeed while taking this medication and for 7 months after the last dose.

This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned with your fertility.

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—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds, red or dark brown urine, small red or purple spots on skin, unusual bruising or bleeding
  • 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
  • Infusion reactions—chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Painful swelling, warmth, or redness of the skin, blisters or sores at the infusion site

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

  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea

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 (2023-05-03 00:00:00)


Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Kadcyla

Self-Care Tips:

Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.

You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.

Wash your hands often.

To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water.

Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.

Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.

To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.

Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.

Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see managing side effects - diarrhea).

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.

Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sun block and protective clothing.

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.

Remain active as you are able. Gentle exercise is encouraged such as a daily walk.

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:

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

  • Fever of 100.4º F (38º C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
  • Trouble breathing, bad cough, swelling of the ankles/legs, palpitations, weight gain of more than 5 pounds in 24 hours, dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain or pressure

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:

  • Signs of infection: Fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough with or without sputum, pain with passing urine, wounds that will not heal
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Dark urine
  • Right-sided abdominal pain
  • 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)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Bad headache
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)

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

Some severe but rare possible side effects of Kadcyla™ include:

  • Liver problems (liver failure)
  • Heart-decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)

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