What is Herceptin
Herceptin is a cancer medicine (monoclonal antibody) which interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in your body.
Side effects of Herceptin
There is a list of the most common side effects after Herceptin usage:
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
- fast or pounding heartbeats
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion
- swelling, rapid weight gain
- cough or wheezing
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
Herceptin works to treat metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after treatment with other chemotherapy. It may be used along with other medicines. Herceptin is also used to treat metastatic stomach cancer in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.
Herceptin is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion and can take up to 90 minutes to complete.
You should inform your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs or not, or if you have:
- heart disease
- a history of heart attack
- breathing problems
General dosage information for people taking Herceptin include the followings:
- Herceptin is given intravenously (by IV) once a week or every three weeks, depending on the dosing regimen
- Your first Herceptin infusion will last 90 minutes and next infusions may be shorter, depending on the dosing regimen
- You should receive your Herceptin infusion at your doctor's office or a hospital
The dose of Herceptin depends on a number of factors such as:
- The type of cancer (breast cancer or stomach cancer)
- The severity of your breast cancer (see Breast Cancer Stages)
- Your weight
- Other medications you may be taking
- Other medical conditions you may have
Dosage of Herceptin for Breast or Stomach Cancer is based on the severity of your cancer and the other treatments you have tried or are currently taking. Your doctor will carefully choose an appropriate dosage based on these factors.
It is important for your doctor to have an accurate weight on record of you, because the dosage is calculated using your weight.