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Ado-trastuzumab emtansine

Generic Name: ado-trastuzumab emtansine (AY doe tras TOOZ ue mab em TAN seen)
Brand Name: Kadcyla

Medically reviewed on September 6, 2016

What is ado-trastuzumab emtansine?

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is used to treat a certain type of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without success.

Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab) should not be used in place of Herceptin (trastuzumab).

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use ado-trastuzumab emtansine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine 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 ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection, your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use ado-trastuzumab emtansine if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant.

To make sure ado-trastuzumab emtansine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Do not use ado-trastuzumab emtansine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 7 months after your last dose.

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during 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 ado-trastuzumab emtansine given?

Before you receive this medicine, your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure ado-trastuzumab emtansine is the right medication to treat your cancer.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine 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 ado-trastuzumab emtansine is injected.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine 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 ado-trastuzumab emtansine.

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 ado-trastuzumab emtansine 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 while taking ado-trastuzumab emtansine?

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). 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. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's 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.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine 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 signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine can harm your liver. Call your doctor at once if you have signs of liver problems--upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • sudden severe headache, confusion, severe drowsiness, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body;

  • problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement;

  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, severe dizziness;

  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest; or

  • low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing.

Common side effects may include:

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)

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:

3.6 mg/kg IV every 3 weeks (21-day cycle) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity
Maximum dose: 3.6 mg/kg IV every 3 weeks

Comments:
-Administer the first infusion over 90 minutes. Subsequent infusions may be administered over 30 minutes as tolerated.
-Observe patients during and for at least 90 minutes following the initial dose for fever, chills, or other infusion-related reactions.
-Patients should have a HER2 positive tumor status confirmed prior to starting therapy.
-Do not substitute trastuzumab emtansine for or with trastuzumab.
-If a planned dose is delayed or missed, it should be administered as soon as possible; do not wait until the next planned cycle.

Use: As a single agent, for HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer in patients who previously received trastuzumab and a taxane, separately or in combination; patients should have either:
-Received prior therapy for metastatic disease
OR
-Developed disease recurrence during or within 6 months of completing adjuvant therapy

What other drugs will affect ado-trastuzumab emtansine?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ado-trastuzumab emtansine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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