Description: Trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody, inhibits proliferation of tumour cells that overexpress HER2 e.g. in 1/3 of breast cancer.


Distribution: Vd: 44 mL/kg; unlikely to cross intact blood brain barrier.

Excretion: Half-life ranges from 5.8 to 28.5 days after admin of the recommended doses.

Trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody, is used alone or with other medications to treat certain types of breast and stomach cancer. These cancers are the types who produce a lot of HER2 protein. It works by attaching to the HER2 cancer cells and blocking them from dividing and growing. It may also destroy the cancer cells or signal the body (immune system) to destroy the cancer cells.

How to use trastuzumab intravenous

Trastuzumab is not the same as trastuzumab emtansine or ado-trastuzumab emtansine. Do not substitute trastuzumab emtansine or ado-trastuzumab emtansine for trastuzumab.

This medication will be given by a health care professional. It is given slowly by vein (IV), usually once a week for breast cancer or once every 3 weeks for stomach cancer or as directed by your doctor. Your first infusion will be given over at least 90 minutes.

The dose, the speed of your injection, and the length of time you receive trastuzumab depends on your body weight, condition, other treatments, and response to trastuzumab treatment.

To get the most benefit from this medication, do not miss any doses. To help you remember, mark the days on the calendar when you need to receive the medication.

Your doctor may prescribe other medications (e.g., acetaminophen, diphenhydramine) for you to take before the start of your treatment to help prevent serious side effects.

Trastuzumab may lead to serious heart problems, including heart failure.

Trastuzumab use may sometimes result in a serious reaction to the IV infusion with serious lung problems.

Trastuzumab can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if these effects persist or worsen:

  • diarrhea
  • redness/irritation at injection (IV) site
  • muscle/joint/back pain
  • stomach/abdominal pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • mouth sores
  • loss of appetite

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • bone pain
  • increased coughing
  • swelling of the hands/ankles/feet
  • sudden unexplained weight gain
  • unusual tiredness
  • severe headache
  • tingling/numbness (e.g., in the hands, feet, leg)
  • mental/mood changes
  • fast/pounding heartbeat
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • weakness on one side of the body
  • slurred speech
  • vision changes
  • confusion

This medication can lower the body’s ability to fight an infection.

This medication can sometimes cause a serious infusion (IV) reaction.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


  • Allergic reaction to this medication.
  • Patients with medical history of:
    • previous cancer treatments (including radiation therapy to the chest)
    • infection
    • heart disease
    • high blood pressure
    • lung problems
    • previous severe reaction to monoclonal antibody treatment
    • virus infection with returning symptoms (e.g., herpes, shingles)
  • More likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections.
  • Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor.
  • Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
  • This drug may make you dizzy.
  • Products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before having surgery
  • elderly may be at greater risk for heart problems (e.g., heart failure).
  • This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for 7 months after the last dose.

Consult your doctor regarding the precautions mentioned above.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

If you will be using an anthracycline (such as doxorubicin) after stopping trastuzumab treatment, if possible, wait at least 7 months.


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.


Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as heart exams, complete blood count) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

It is very important that you do not miss any doses. However, if you miss a dose, contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.


Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.


Available Brands

  • Herceptin [ Roche ]

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