Brand Name(s): Herceptin, Herclon
Drug Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Treats: Breast Cancers, Gastric Cancer
Trastuzumab is a treatment for certain types of breast cancer. It is used on tumors that produce more of a certain protein called HER2. Trastuzumab is part of the HER2 receptor antagonists drug class and should only be used to treat individuals with excess HER2. It may be used in combination with other medications or treatment plans.
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Trastuzumab is a treatment for certain types of breast cancer or stomach cancer. When tumors produce excess HER2 proteins, Trastuzumab is used to control the levels. This drug should only be administered by a medical professional.
Trastuzumab is used to prevent the cancer cells from growing and spreading throughout the body. The drug may be used in combination with other prescription drugs to treat the medical condition. Before starting Trastuzumab (trastuzumab) be sure to consult with your doctor for all medical risk associated with the drug. Below you will find the different uses for Trastuzumab:
- Breast Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
Trastuzumab dosage is completely dependent on the individual that takes it, as it can be used for a variety of conditions. Note that the amount of Trastuzumab you also take depends on the age of the individual. In addition to that the amount of Trastuzumab you also take depends on the strength of the inhaler and the amount of times you plan on using the inhaler. Note that Trastuzumab also depends on the type of condition you are treating.
- Adult Dose: Initial dose of 4mg/kg given intravenously over a period of 90 minutes, reduced to a maintenance dose of 2mg/kg after that on a weekly basis.
- If trastuzumab is given alongside paclitaxel or docetaxel/carboplatin, the initial dose will remain the same but the maintenance dose will be 6mg/kg every third week.
- Adult Dose: Initial dose of 8mg/kg given intravenously over a period of 90 minutes, reduced to a maintenance dose of 6mg/kg every third week.
Trastuzumab Side Effects
Most of the side-effects of trastuzumab are relatively mild, mostly oriented around flu-like symptoms.However, administration of this monoclonal antibody can become problematic in those with pre-existing heart disease in which there is a real risk of cardiomyopathy onset.
This will need to be discussed with your oncologist, as a balance exists between the risks of cancer returning versus the risk of potentially fatal cardiovascular disease. If you experience any unusual side-effects while taking trastuzumab, you are advised to consult your oncologist at the first opportunity.
Consult your doctor should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Flu-like Symptoms
- Skin Rash
- Aches and Pains
One of the major risks of trastuzumab therapy is resistance. This is currently ongoing in research circles, but initial evidence suggests resistance to the drug does exist. This may pose problems for some patients, particularly those who experience recurrent breast cancer.
Besides this, there are numerous serious interactions that need to be considered. Your oncologist will discuss with you whether you are taking any existing medication, and this will be factored in as to whether trastuzumab should be prescribed.
The following is by no means an exhaustive list of interactions, but it highlights some of the most salient examples.