Trastuzumab

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Trastuzumab is used to treat HER2-positive breast cancer and gastric cancer.

It is a monoclonal antibody which targets HER2, a certain type of protein on the surface of cancer cells, to control their growth.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Trastuzumab: It is given as an injection into your vein (intravenous) or into the fatty tissue under the skin (subcutaneous).

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.

  • You are pregnant or planning for pregnancy.

    • You should use effective birth control during treatment and for 7 months after your last treatment.
  • You are breastfeeding.

    • Do not breastfeed during treatment and for 7 months after your last treatment.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Feeling tired and lack of energy

    • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery when you feel tired
  • Flu-like symptoms e.g. headache, weakness, mild fever (<38° C)

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Allergic reactions. Please alert your nurse if you experience allergic reactions during your treatment. The symptoms of this include one or more of the following:

    • Chills, rigors

    • Facial flushing

    • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue

    • Difficulty in breathing

    • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

  • Heart problems. Your doctor may arrange for a test to check your heart function once every few months while you are on this treatment. Symptoms of this include:

    • Persistent cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Swelling of hand or leg

  • Flu-like symptoms that worsen or do not go away

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

You may refer to the following website if you need more information: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/


Disclaimers
The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.


This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Nov 2020


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Trastuzumab

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