Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine – Kadcyla

Why is this drug prescribed?

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection is used to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and has not improved or worsened despite treatment with other medications. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is also used after surgery for a specific type of breast cancer in women who have been treated with other chemotherapy drugs prior to surgery but whose surgically removed tissue still contains cancer cells. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine belongs to the category of drugs known as antibody-drug conjugates. It functions by eliminating cancer cells.

How this medicine is used?

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection is a powder that must be mixed with liquid and infused (slowly injected) into a vein by a physician or nurse in a hospital or other medical facility. Typically, it is injected every three weeks. The duration of your treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication and how severe the side effects are.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection may cause severe reactions related to infusion, which may occur during or shortly after the infusion. You should receive your first dose of ado-trastuzumab emtansine within 90 minutes. A physician or nurse will closely monitor your response to this medication. If you do not experience any serious complications when receiving your first dose of ado-trastuzumab emtansine, it will typically take 30 minutes to administer each of your subsequent doses. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: flushing, fever, chills, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or a rapid, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.

If you experience certain side effects, your doctor may need to delay your treatment, slow down the infusion, or discontinue your treatment. During your treatment with ado-trastuzumab emtansine, be sure to let your physician know how you feel.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • sores in the mouth and throat
  • dry mouth
  • changes in ability to taste
  • joint or muscle pain
  • headache
  • dry, red, or teary eyes
  • blurry vision
  • trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
  • pain, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, or soresnear the place where the medication was injected
  • fever, sore throat, chills, difficulty urinating, pain when urinating, and other signs of infection
  • nosebleeds and other unusual bleeding or bruising
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds
  • pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet, muscle weakness, trouble moving
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • nausea; vomiting; loss of appetite; fatigue; rapid heartbeat; dark urine; decreased amount of urine; stomach pain; seizures; hallucinations; or muscle cramps and spasms
  • shortness of breath, cough, extreme tiredness

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

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  • March 10th, 2023


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