Generic Name: ado-trastuzumab emtansine (A doe tras TOOZ ue mab em TAN seen)
Brand Names: Kadcyla
What is Kadcyla?
Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Kadcyla is used to treat a certain type of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without success.
Kadcyla may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Kadcyla if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Kadcyla can harm your liver. Call your doctor at once if you have upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Before you receive each Kadcyla injection, your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).
Before receiving Kadcyla
You should not use Kadcyla if you are allergic to ado-trastuzumab emtansine, or if you are pregnant.
To make sure Kadcyla is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia; or
asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Kadcyla if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.
It is not known whether ado-trastuzumab emtansine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How is Kadcyla given?
Before you receive Kadcyla, your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure ado-trastuzumab emtansine is the right medication to treat your cancer.
Kadcyla is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when Kadcyla is injected.
Kadcyla is usually given once every 3 weeks until your body no longer responds to the medication. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with Kadcyla.
You may need frequent medical tests at your doctor's office to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Kadcyla injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid?
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.
Kadcyla side effects
Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel cold, light-headed, feverish or sweaty, or have chest tightness, rapid heartbeats, or trouble breathing.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Kadcyla: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
chest pain, dry cough, fever, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;
fever, unusual weakness; or
blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing.
Common Kadcyla side effects may include:
stomach pain, vomiting, dry mouth;
joint or muscle pain;
tired feeling; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Kadcyla?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Kadcyla, especially:
an antibiotic--clarithromycin, telithromycin;
antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
heart medication--nicardipine, quinidine;
hepatitis C medications--boceprevir, telaprevir; or
HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Kadcyla, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Kadcyla.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Kadcyla only for the indication prescribed.
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