Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Herceptin

(Trastuzumab)

  • Infusion (IV)
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Treats breast and stomach cancer.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Herceptin (Trastuzumab) is an effective, first-line option when used together with other medicines for certain types of breast and stomach cancers, but it has many side effects and needs a lot of monitoring.

  • Taking Herceptin (Trastuzumab) with other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines can improve response and lower relapse in people with a certain type of breast cancer.
  • Taking Herceptin (Trastuzumab) with other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines can increase the chance of living longer in people with a certain type of stomach cancer.
  • Treats breast and stomach cancer in people whose tumor has an excess of a specific protein (HER2).
  • First-line treatment option when used with other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines for certain metastatic breast and stomach cancers.
  • Not the best choice if you have heart, kidney, or lung problems.
  • Your heart function will have to be checked regularly while you're taking Herceptin (Trastuzumab). This will be done before, during, and after treatment.
  • Herceptin (Trastuzumab) can cause birth defects. Birth control is recommended while you're taking Herceptin (Trastuzumab) and for 6 months after you finish. Talk to your doctor before starting Herceptin (Trastuzumab) if you're concerned about getting pregnant.
  • There's no generic available and it can be very expensive.

Save on your next Herceptin (Trastuzumab) prescription

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Side effects for Herceptin (Trastuzumab)

From clinical trials of Herceptin / Breast cancer ( 3386)

  • FatigueFatigue30% for Herceptin vs.22% for placebo
  • InfectionInfection24% for Herceptin vs.13% for placebo
  • Hot flashesHot flashes17% for Herceptin vs.15% for placebo
  • Shortness of breathShortness of breath12% for Herceptin vs.5% for placebo
  • Low red blood cellsLow red blood cells12% for Herceptin vs.7% for placebo
  • Joint painJoint pain12% for Herceptin vs.9% for placebo
  • Nail changesNail changes12% for Herceptin vs.7% for placebo
  • Low white blood cellsLow white blood cells11% for Herceptin vs.8% for placebo
  • Rash/desquamationRash/desquamation11% for Herceptin vs.8% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache10% for Herceptin vs.3% for placebo

What to expect when you take Herceptin (Trastuzumab)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Herceptin (Trastuzumab) is a medicine that’s infused into your veins (intravenous infusion) in a clinic or hospital.
  • You’ll need to be watched in case you have a serious reaction during the infusion. Symptoms, such as low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, or swelling usually happen within the first 24 hours.
  • Can cause heart problems. Talk to your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath (especially at night), swelling in your arms or legs, or a cough that's new or worse.
  • Can cause lung problems. Talk to your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that's new or worse.
  • Only used for specific types of breast and stomach cancer. You'll have to take a test first to determine if Herceptin (Trastuzumab) is the right medicine for you.

Risks and Warnings for Herceptin (Trastuzumab)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems
    • Taking other chemotherapy (anti-cancer) medicines

    Herceptin (Trastuzumab) can increase your risk of heart failure. Heart tests may be required before starting treatment, during treatment, and after finishing treatment.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Herceptin (Trastuzumab)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Kidneys & liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Not the best choice if you have heart, kidney, or lung problems.