Herceptin (trastuzumab) Side Effects, Costs, Dosing, And Prescribing Information For Breast And Gastric Cancer | Maysa Odeh, PharmD | RxEconsult

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Herceptin (trastuzumab) Side Effects, Costs, Dosing, And Prescribing Information For Breast And Gastric Cancer Category: Cancer by - October 15, 2015 | Views: 37806 | Likes: 1 | Comment: 0  

How effective is Herceptin for breast cancer treatment?

In a clinical study, 469 women with metastatic breast cancer who had not received treatment before were given chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy plus Herceptin 4 mg/kg followed by weekly doses of 2 mg/kg. Patients treated with a combination of chemotherapy and Herceptin had a higher response to therapy, longer time before disease progression, and better survival rates compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone. The median survival rate was 25.1 months in 235 patients receiving Herceptin with their chemotherapy versus 20.3 months in 234 patients receiving chemotherapy alone. 

Another study looked at 222 patients metastatic breast cancer who relapsed after treatment with one or two chemotherapy regimens. Patients were given a dose of 4 mg/kg IV followed by weekly doses of 2 mg/kg IV. The overall response rate was 14% with a 2% complete response rate and a 12% partial response rate.

Interesting Facts about Herceptin

  • Herceptin is the first monoclonal antibody approved for treating breast cancer.
  • Herceptin is a protein that targets breast cancer cells with too many HER2 receptors.
  • Adding 1 year of Herceptin treatment can increase the chance of survival from breast cancer. 

What are side effects of Herceptin?

  • Common side effects:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Feeling tired
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Infections
  • Muscle pain
  • Increased cough
  • Weight loss
  • Change in ability to taste
  • Flu like symptoms

Serious side effects of Herceptin include:

Heart Problems such as congestive heart failure or reduced heart function

  • Severe Lung Problems, including shortness of breath, fluid in lungs, swelling and Scarring of lungs, not enough oxygen in the body
  • Low White Blood Cell Counts
  • Reduced platelet counts
  • Increased risk of infections
Next: Dosing, Drug Interactions, Warnings, Cost, Pregnancy

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