Warning: This drug may cause serious
heart problems, such as heart failure. The risk for the heart problems are increased if you take an
anthracycline (e.g. doxorubicin). Your doctor should be aware of all heart problems that occur, as they may be
able to prescribe you something else.
Herceptin may also cause a reaction to
the IV infusion with serious lung problems. If it does occur it is usually within 24 hours of dosage. If you
experience any shortness of breath or dizziness/fainting, tell your doctor immediately.
Herceptin is given by an IV, administrated by a medical professional. The treatment for breast cancer is once a
week, while the treatment of stomach cancer is once every 3 weeks. The first infusion is given over 90
minutes. The time
it takes to get this treatment as well as the dosage will depend on your response to the medication and body
Herceptin overdose can
be fatal. An overdose of Herceptin 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, Herceptin 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.
dose: Do not miss any doses to receive all
benefits of this medication. If for some reasons you cannot be present at the hospital for the
therapy, contact your oncologist before the date you are scheduled for the injection. Do not stay home because
you are experience side effects; Herceptin
cause side effects in most patients. Missing a dose or a session of the
therapy can affect the entire treatment.
doctor should be aware of all the interactions associated with this medicine. Keep a list of all medications you
are on. Tell your doctor if you have used previous anti-cancer medications, such as doxorubicin, daunorubicin,
cyclophosphamide, as well as medications for high blood pressure, recent immunizations, and drugs that weaken
the immune system (cyclosporine, corticosteroids).
Contraindications: Tell your doctor and pharmacist of all known allergies, as
you may be allergic to some ingredients in Herceptin.
with your doctor about all medications you have taken in the past, such as previous radiation therapy for
cancer, as well as virus infections that reoccur, current infections, high blood pressure, lung problems, and
past severe reaction to monoclonal antibody medication.
have any immunizations while on this medication. Avoid any contact with people that have recently had the oral
polio vaccination and the flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.
contact sports as you may be more susceptible to bleeding, cuts, bruising and flesh wounds.
get dizzy while taking Herceptin. Avoid driving, operating machinery or doing anything that requires
take this treatment if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, as it may cause harm to an unborn
Mechanism of action (MOA): Herceptin 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.
Side effects: Herceptin also affects
healthy cells, which cause adverse effects in most patients. common Herceptin side effects
- insomnia (or difficulty sleeping)
- depression (very rare)
- infusion reactions
- increased cough
white and red blood cells
You need to
see a medical specialist as soon as you can if you experience any of these symptoms:
anxiety or confusion
fast or irregular heart beat
shortness of breath
severe depression symptoms
intense head ache
feeling of constriction of the throat
sudden low or high blood pressure
swelling of feet or lower legs
painful or difficult urination whichcontain blood
Pain in lower back or in the side, accompanied by fever or chills