Generic Name: ado-trastuzumab emtansine (AY doe tras TOOZ ue mab em TAN seen)
Brand Name: Kadcyla
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.
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:
bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia; or
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;
problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath;
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:
easy bruising or bleeding;
joint or muscle pain;
headache, tired feeling; or
abnormal liver function tests.
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
-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
-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.
More about ado-trastuzumab emtansine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
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- Drug class: HER2 inhibitors
Other brands: Kadcyla
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about ado-trastuzumab emtansine.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02.
Last reviewed: September 06, 2016
Date modified: March 06, 2018