Trastuzumab (Injection)

Trastuzumab (Injection)

Trastuzumab (tras-too-zoo-mab)

Treats breast cancer.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to trastuzumab.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.  
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or chemotherapy treatment center.  
  • Your medicine will be given directly into a vein, usually in your arm or chest. This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-ous), or IV infusion.  
  • Trastuzumab must be given slowly, so the IV must remain in place for approximately 90 minutes.  
  • You will be watched closely for unwanted side effects while you are receiving this medicine.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows what chemotherapy medicines you have already received.  
  • Before receiving this medicine, tell your doctor if you have ever had a reaction to benzyl alcohol or murine proteins. Murine proteins are used in some medicines for hemophilia, organ or bone marrow transplants, serious blood infections, or to find or treat certain cancers.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.  
  • Do not breastfeed during treatment with trastuzumab, or for 6 months after your last treatment.  
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have ever had heart disease.  
  • Tell your doctor if you have had radiation therapy to the chest.  
  • Your doctor may test your heart before you start receiving trastuzumab and while you are getting treatments with this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat  
  • Feeling short of breath, or trouble breathing  
  • Fever or chills  
  • Increased cough  
  • Nausea or vomiting  
  • Severe diarrhea

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache  
  • Mild diarrhea  
  • Skin rash  
  • Sore throat  
  • Stomach pain, back pain, or other pain  
  • Trouble sleeping  
  • Weakness

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 5, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.