Herceptin (Trastuzumab) is used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat breast cancer. The types of cancer that this drug is used to treat are tumors. It is those that make more than the usual total of a certain substance. It is called HER2 protein. It may also be used to treat certain types of stomach cancer.
How does Herceptin (Trastuzumab)?
Herceptin (Trastuzumab) works by targeting the HER2 receptor on cancer cells. The HER2 gene creates a protein receptor on the cell surface that signals normal cell growth. It is by telling the cell to split and grow. Some cancerous breast tissue has too much HER2. That it triggers the cells to split and grow very fast.
This drug attaches to the HER2 receptors to prevent cells from increasing. It also prevents further cancer growth and slows the progression of cancer. It may also work by stimulating an immune mechanism.
Why use Herceptin (Trastuzumab)?
Herceptin (Trastuzumab) is called a monoclonal antibody. It is for injection that is sterile and white to pale yellow. It is also a preservative-free lyophilized powder with a cake-like appearance. This is available for intravenous administration. Each multiple-dose vial of this drug delivers 420 mg of Trastuzumab. This medication is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How to use Herceptin (Trastuzumab)?
Herceptin (Trastuzumab) is given by slow injection into a vein. It should be given by a healthcare professional or a doctor. It is given usually once every week or once every 3 weeks. The first injection is given over for about 90 minutes.
The dosage is based on your condition, weight, and response to it. Follow very carefully the prescription of your doctor. To help you remember, mark the days on the calendar when you need to receive the medication.
What are the side-effects of Herceptin (Trastuzumab)?
- Irritation or redness at the injection site
- Join/muscle/back pain
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Sleep problems or insomnia
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mouth sores
- Loss of appetite
- Cold symptoms (sinus pain, sneezing, or stuffy nose)
Warnings and Precautions
- Before starting this treatment, tell your doctor about any other medicines you are taking (vitamins or herbals remedies).
- Do not breastfeed while using this medication.
- Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or get pregnant while using this drug.
- Get plenty of rest and maintain good nutrition.