Trastuzumab (Herceptin)

The basics

Trastuzumab (brand names – Herceptin, Kanjinti, Ogivri, Trazimera) injection is an FDA-approved treatment for breast, oesophagus, and stomach cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Trastuzumab (Herceptin) helps during and after treatment with other medications to decrease the chance of a certain type of breast cancer recurrence.

It is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. Trastuzumab works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about Trastuzumab.

Make sure you read IMPORTANT WARNING section at the end of this article.

How should I take trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Trastuzumab Injection

Trastuzumab injection products come as a liquid or as a powder to be mixed with a liquid to be injected into a vein by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or medical facility.

The length of your treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication and the side effects that you experience.

Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking treatment without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • difficulty urinating, pain when urinating,
  • nosebleeds and other unusual bruising or bleeding
  • excessive tiredness
  • pale skin
  • depression
  • rapid heart beat
  • dark urine
  • decreased amount of urine
  • seizures
  • hallucinations
  • muscle cramps and spasms

Trastuzumab injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are receiving this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving a trastuzumab injection

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other disease, symptom, or treatment

While you are on trastuzumab injection

  • if you or your partner becomes pregnant while taking trastuzumab, call your doctor immediately. Trastuzumab may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breastfeed while you are on treatment.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving a trastuzumab injection product.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Call your doctor right away if you are unable to keep an appointment to receive a dose of a trastuzumab injection product.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Herceptin® (trastuzumab)
  • Kanjinti® (trastuzumab-anns)
  • Ogivri® (trastuzumab-dkst)
  • Trazimera®(trastuzumab-qyyp)

Last Revised – 12/26/2023, FDA update – 10/19/2020, SG

Trastuzumab injection products may cause serious or life-threatening heart problems. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease. Your doctor will order tests before and during your treatment to see if your heart is working well enough for you to safely receive a trastuzumab injection product. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are being treated with radiation therapy to your chest or anthracycline medications for cancer such as daunorubicin (Daunoxome, Cerubidine), doxorubicin (Doxil), epirubicin (Ellence), and idarubicin (Idamycin).

Side effects

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: cough; shortness of breath; swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs; weight gain (more than 5 pounds [about 2.3 kilograms] in 24 hours); dizziness; loss of consciousness; or fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.

Trastuzumab injection products may cause serious or life-threatening reactions that may occur while the medication is being given or up to 24 hours afterward. Trastuzumab injection products may also cause severe lung damage. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung disease or if you have a tumor in your lungs, especially if it has caused you to have difficulty breathing. Your doctor will watch you carefully when you receive a trastuzumab injection product so that your treatment can be interrupted if you experience a serious reaction. If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately: fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, pain, headache, dizziness, weakness, rash, hives, itching, tightening of the throat; difficulty breathing, or swallowing.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Trastuzumab injection products may harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for 7 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant during your treatment with a trastuzumab injection product, call your doctor immediately.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body’s response to a trastuzumab injection product.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving a trastuzumab injection product.

Get 24×7 support for trastuzumab injection (Herceptin)

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(1) find the best treatment for your cancer, and
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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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