May 23, 2017
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(trastuzumab) for Injection




Herceptin administration can result in sub-clinical and clinical cardiac failure. The incidence and severity was highest in patients receiving Herceptin with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens.

Evaluate left ventricular function in all patients prior to and during treatment with Herceptin. Discontinue Herceptin treatment in patients receiving adjuvant therapy and withhold Herceptin in patients with metastatic disease for clinically significant decrease in left ventricular function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Infusion Reactions; Pulmonary Toxicity

Herceptin administration can result in serious and fatal infusion reactions and pulmonary toxicity. Symptoms usually occur during or within 24 hours of Herceptin administration. Interrupt Herceptin infusion for dyspnea or clinically significant hypotension. Monitor patients until symptoms completely resolve. Discontinue Herceptin for anaphylaxis, angioedema, interstitial pneumonitis, or acute respiratory distress syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Exposure to Herceptin during pregnancy can result in oligohydramnios and oligohydramnios sequence manifesting as pulmonary hypoplasia, skeletal abnormalities, and neonatal death. Advise patients of these risks and the need for effective contraception [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].


Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a humanized IgG1 kappa monoclonal antibody that selectively binds with high affinity to the extracellular domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 protein, HER2. Trastuzumab is produced by recombinant DNA technology in a mammalian cell (Chinese Hamster Ovary) culture containing the antibiotic gentamicin. Gentamicin is not detectable in the final product.

Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a sterile, white to pale yellow, preservative-free lyophilized powder for Injection, for intravenous administration.

Each multiple-dose vial of Herceptin delivers 420 mg trastuzumab, 381.8 mg α,α-trehalose dihydrate, 9.5 mg L-histidine HCl monohydrate, 6.1 mg L-histidine, and 1.7 mg polysorbate 20. Reconstitution with 20 mL of the appropriate diluent (BWFI or SWFI) yields a solution containing 21 mg/mL trastuzumab at a pH of approximately 6. If Herceptin is reconstituted with SWFI without preservative, the reconstituted solution is considered single-dose.

Each single-dose vial of Herceptin delivers 150 mg trastuzumab, 136.2 mg α,α-trehalose dihydrate, 3.4 mg L-histidine HCl monohydrate, 2.2 mg L-histidine, and 0.6 mg polysorbate 20. Reconstitution with 7.4 mL of sterile water for injection (SWFI) yields a solution containing 21 mg/mL trastuzumab that delivers 7.15 mL (150 mg trastuzumab), at a pH of approximately 6.

What are the possible side effects of trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

Some people receiving a trastuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, itchy, or short of breath during the injection.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • feeling short of...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Herceptin »

What are the precautions when taking trastuzumab (Herceptin)?

See also Warning section.

Before using trastuzumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other mouse protein medications; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as benzyl alcohol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: previous cancer treatments (including radiation therapy to the chest), current infection, virus infection with returning symptoms (e.g., herpes, shingles), heart disease, high blood pressure, lung problems, previous severe reaction to monoclonal antibody treatment.

Trastuzumab can make you more likely to get infections or...

Read All Potential Precautions of Herceptin »

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/22/2017
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Herceptin - User Reviews

Herceptin User Reviews

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Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Herceptin sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

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