Information about Trastuzumab

Trastuzumab Uses

Trastuzumab is used in the treatment of breast cancer and stomach cancer.

How Trastuzumab works

Trastuzumab is a recombinant IgG1 monoclonal antibody. It works against the HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor protein) receptors which are responsible for the over-proliferation of cancer cells in breast cancer and stomach cancer cells. It destroys the cancer cells by inhibiting HER2. It also inhibits various cancer-causing downstream signaling pathways.

Common side effects of Trastuzumab

Chills, Diarrhea, Fever, Headache, Nausea, Back pain, Vomiting, Weakness, Breathlessness
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Last updated
13 Oct 2022 | 12:19 PM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Trastuzumab

VivitraZydus Cadila
22447 to ₹586332 variant(s)
21430 to ₹599812 variant(s)
HertrazMylan Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
19500 to ₹588202 variant(s)
BiceltisCipla Ltd
546501 variant(s)
HerclonCipla Ltd
17390 to ₹546502 variant(s)
HersimaAlkem Laboratories Ltd
19132 to ₹594002 variant(s)
TrasturelReliance Life Sciences
24200 to ₹611322 variant(s)
HerceptinRoche Products India Pvt Ltd
1107001 variant(s)
TrumabGlenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd
20609 to ₹632332 variant(s)
OntramabCelon Laboratories Ltd
10800 to ₹300002 variant(s)

Expert advice for Trastuzumab

  • It is given as an injection into your vein or under the skin, usually over 1 hour.
  • Use effective contraception method to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine and for 7 months after you stop the treatment. 
  • Your doctor will monitor your heart regularly while taking this medicine. Inform your doctor if you notice symptoms such as breathlessness, cough, shivering, swelling of legs and arm.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

Frequently asked questions for Trastuzumab


Q. What are the serious side effects of Trastuzumab?

There are various side effects related to Trastuzumab such as sore throat, fever, chills, excessive tiredness, pale skin, nosebleeds, and other unusual bruising or bleeding. One can also experience stomach pain, seizures, hallucinations, muscle cramps, and spasms. Along with that, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, rapid heart beat, discoloration of urine; decreased amount of urine, difficulty in urinating, pain when urinating, and other signs of infection can also be observed with the use of Trastuzumab. You should call your doctor immediately if you notice any such symptoms.

Q. How long after Trastuzumab therapy can I get pregnant?

Women of child-bearing age should use effective contraception during Trastuzumab therapy and for 7 months after completing the treatment. You can plan your pregnancy after 7 months of treatment with Trastuzumab.

Q. How long should Trastuzumab be taken?

Patients with early breast cancer should take Trastuzumab for 1 year or until disease recurs, whichever occurs first. It is not advised to extend the treatment beyond 1 year in patients of early breast cancer.

Q. Is fasting required before administering Trastuzumab?

No, fasting is not required before administering Trastuzumab. It should be given under the guidance of a doctor who is experienced in giving cancer chemotherapy and should be given only by a healthcare professional.

Q. How is Trastuzumab given, intravenously or intramuscularly?

There are 2 different formulations available for administration of Trastuzumab, one is given as an infusion into a vein (intravenous infusion) and the other is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection). It is important to check the product labels to ensure that the correct formulation is being given as prescribed. Trastuzumab intravenous formulation is not for subcutaneous use and should be given as an intravenous infusion only. Your doctor may consider switching your Trastuzumab intravenous treatment to Trastuzumab subcutaneous treatment (and vice versa) if considered appropriate for you.

Q. Can Trastuzumab be given to HER2 negative cancer patients?

No, Trastuzumab cannot be given in patients with HER2 negative cancer cells. Trastuzumab belongs to class of monoclonal antibody. It binds selectively to a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). HER2 is found, in large amounts, on the surface of some cancer cells. When Trastuzumab binds to HER2, it stops the growth and spread of the cancer cells. Therefore, it is only effective in HER2 positive patients (in which HER2 is present) and will not be beneficial for HER2 negative patients (in which HER2 is not present).

Q. Why has my doctor advised for investigations of heart?

Trastuzumab when used with anthracycline class of anti-cancer medicines (eg doxorubicin) may adversely affect your heart. Hence, your doctor needs to check the health of your heart initially before starting treatment and during treatment.

Q. How frequently heart investigations are required?

Heart investigations should be performed at the starting of the treatment. It should be repeated every 3 months during treatment and every 6 months after the discontinuation of treatment until 24 months from the last administration of Trastuzumab. Those patients who already have heart-related problems will require investigations every 12 weeks.


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