Generic Name(s): ado-trastuzumab emtansine
Drug Class: HER2 inhibitors
Treats: Breast Cancer
Kadcyla is a prescription drug used in the treatment of some types of breast cancer. This drug is used when the cancer has spread to other body parts and has worsened or has not improved after treatment with other drugs. Kadcyla belongs to the antibody-drug conjugates group of drugs and works by killing the cancer cells.
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Kadcyla is used in treating some types of breast cancer. The drug is administered when cancer has spread to other body parts and has not improved or has worsened after prior treatment with other drugs. Kadcyla treats tumors that produce more than the normal amount of HER2 protein. Kadcyla works by attaching to the HER2 cancer cells and preventing them from multiplying and growing. The medication may also destroy the cancer cells or signal the body's immune system to destroy the cells. Kadcyla injection comes in powder form and should be mixed with liquid and injected into a vein with a medical expert.
- Breast Cancer
Before using Kadcyla, the doctor needs to perform various blood tests to ensure Kadcyla is the right medication for treating cancer. The medication is injected into the vein through an IV. A medical expert should give the injection. The patient should tell the expert in case of any feelings of pain, burning, or swelling around the IV needle when the drug is injected.
- The usual dose is 3.6mg/kg IV that should be given every three weeks until the patient's body no longer responds to the drug. The doctor determines how long to treat a patient with this medication.
- The maximum dose should be 3.6mg/kg IV every 3 weeks
Kadcyla Side Effects
Doctors prescribe Kadcyla when the cancer has spread to other body parts and has not improved or has worsened despite prior treatment with other drugs. Therefore, a patient may experience some side effects. Note, not all side effects are listed here.
- Joint or muscle pain
- Upset stomach
- Dry mouth
- Sores in the throat and mouth
- Trouble staying asleep or falling asleep
- Changes in ability to taste
- Red, dry or watery eyes
- Blurry vision Severe side effects
- Liver problems
- Nerve problems
- Low level of potassium in the blood
- Low levels of red blood cells
- Low platelet count
Kadcyla should be used with much caution, especially with other drugs that have the potential to change how it metabolizes. A patient should inform the doctor about other drugs in current use to enable the doctor monitor those drugs for any interactions. Products that can interact with Kadcyla include:
- Hepatitis C medication such as telaprevir or boceprevir
- Heart medication such as quinidine or nicardipine
- Blood thinner like Coumadin, warfarin or Jantoven
- Drugs used for blocking blood clots such as clopidogrel, ticlopidine, urokinase and alteplase