What possible Serious Side Effects and Additional Important Safety Information should I know about Herceptin?
- Herceptin treatment can result in heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure). The risk and seriousness of these heart problems were highest in people who received both Herceptin and a certain type of chemotherapy (anthracycline). One patient died in an adjuvant (early) breast cancer trial of significantly weakened heart muscle
- Your doctor will evaluate your heart function before and during treatment. For adjuvant breast cancer therapy, your doctor will also evaluate heart function after the end of treatment. Your doctor will stop Herceptin therapy if you have serious weakening of the heart muscle or changes in the heart muscle structure
- Some patients have had serious infusion reactions and lung problems; infusion reactions leading to death have been reported. Your doctor may have you completely stop Herceptin treatment if you have a severe allergic reaction, swelling, lung problems, swelling of the lungs, or severe shortness of breath
- Herceptin can cause harm to the fetus (unborn baby), in some cases death to the fetus, when taken by a pregnant woman
- Worsening of low white blood cell counts associated with chemotherapy has also occurred
- You must have a HER2 test to determine if your cancer is HER2-positive before taking Herceptin
- The most common side effects associated with Herceptin in patients with breast cancer are fever, nausea, vomiting, infusion reactions, diarrhea, infections, increased cough, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, rash, low white and red blood cell counts, and muscle pain
- The most common side effects associated with Herceptin in patients with stomach cancer are low white and red blood cell counts, diarrhea, fatigue, swelling of the mouth lining, weight loss, upper respiratory tract infections, fever, low platelet counts, swelling of the mucous membranes, swelling of the nose and throat, and a change in taste
Because everyone is different, it is not possible to predict what side effects any one person will have. If you have questions or concerns about side effects, you should talk to your doctor.
Please see full Prescribing Information for Serious Side Effects and additional important safety information.