What is Herceptin?
Herceptin is a prescription drug brand name that is FDA-approved medication for HER2-positive cancer in the breast (the cancer cells have abnormally high levels of a protein called HER2). Herceptin is used as an adjuvant drug in this situation (a therapy used to prevent cancer from returning). HER2-positive breast cancer is metastatic. HER2-positive Metastatic adenocarcinoma gastric (stomach) cancer or gastroesophageal junction cancer.
- Herceptin is used as an adjuvant drug for HER2 overexpressing breast cancer to prevent a recurrence.
- It's also used to treat patients with metastatic breast cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma, or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma who overexpress HER2.
- The medication is used to treat HER2-positive breast cancer and stop cancer from growing.
- Herceptin is used along with other cancer medications when used to treat stomach cancer. Herceptin is only licenced for adult use
- Herceptin is an anticancer drug that targets the HER2 gene. It binds to HER2 receptors (docking stations) on cancer cells, preventing them from growing.
- n order to minimise the risk of breast cancer returning from earlier stages of HER2-positive breast cancer, either as part of a chemotherapy protocol or alone after an anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimen (recurrence).
How does it work?
Herceptin works by blocking the effects of HER2 and encouraging the immune system (the body's natural defences) to attack and kill the cancer cells.
Herceptin Side effects:
- Urinary tract
- Fluid retention
- Hot flashes
- Back, joint or abdominal pain
Some of the serious side effects of Herceptin are:
- Low levels of platelets
- Sores that take longer than usual to heal
- Blood clot
- Loss of strength
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Muscle cramps
- Acute kidney failure
- Allergic reactions
- Heart problems
Note that this drug has been prescribed by your doctor and he or she has decided that the value is greater than the risk of side effects. There are no significant side effects for many people who take this drug. Herceptin can give your urine, tears, and sweat a reddish colour. This effect may begin within the first hours of treatment and may last for up to a few days. This is a natural drug reaction and should not be confused with blood in your urine
Before using Herceptin talk with your doctor if you are allergic to it or any other medications. The product may contain some inactive ingredients which can cause some serious allergic reactions or some other serious problems. Before using Herceptin talk with your doctor if you are having any medical history such as Heart disease, Lung problems, radiation treatment and any recent infections.
How to take Herceptin?
Herceptin is delivered into the vein through infusion (intravenous, IV). The first dose is taken over a span of 90 minutes. If subsequent maintenance doses are well-tolerated, over 30 minutes can be administered. The amount of Herceptin you'll get is determined by a number of factors, including your height and weight, general health or other health conditions, and the type of cancer or disease you're treating.
Herceptin is available in two strengths:
- 150 mg powder in a single dose which can be mixed with a liquid solution.
- 420 mg powder in multiple doses which can be mixed with liquid solution.
It's important to take this drug exactly when it's meant to be taken. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible to get a new dosing schedule.
Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed Herceptin tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.
Warnings for some Serious Health Conditions
A baby growing in the womb could be affected by this medicine. It is important to prevent getting pregnant while taking this medicine and for at least 7 months afterwards. Before beginning treatment, speak to your doctor or nurse about successful contraception. Following treatment with this medication, you might not be able to become pregnant. If you think you would want to have a baby in the future, talk to your doctor before beginning treatment.
Pregnancy and Contraception:
- Breastfeeding: Avoid breastfeeding your child if you are on this treatment. As this medicine can pass into the breastmilk and cause some serious problems to the infant.
Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. Exposure to medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach. Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).
Herceptin vs Kadcyla
|Herceptin is an anticancer drug that targets the HER2 gene. It binds to HER2 receptors (docking stations) on cancer cells, preventing them from growing.
|Kadcyla is a mixture of Herceptin with emtansine, a chemotherapy drug. Doctors call Kadcyla a targeted treatment with an antibody-drug conjugate. Emtansine is attached to Herceptin (conjugated).
|Herceptin is used as an adjuvant drug for HER2 overexpressing breast cancer to prevent a recurrence. It's also used to treat patients with metastatic breast cancer or gastric adenocarcinoma
|Kadcyla will function in people who have been previously treated with Herceptin and taxane chemotherapy for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.
|Some of the common side effects of Herceptin are:
|Some of the common side effects of Kadcyla are: