Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Kadcyla intravenous

Important Note

Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose
Kadcyla intravenous Warnings

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine has rarely caused very serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you develop symptoms of liver disease, including persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine may lead to serious heart problems, including heart failure. Past use of certain other anti-cancer drugs (including anthracyclines such as doxorubicin) may increase your risk of heart problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart failure, including swelling ankles/feet, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness, sudden unexplained weight gain.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy. Discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.

Do not substitute trastuzumab for ado-trastuzumab emtansine.

Kadcyla intravenous Uses

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is used alone to treat certain types of breast cancer. This medication is used to treat tumors that produce more than the normal amount of a certain substance called HER2 protein.

This medication is called a monoclonal antibody and microtubule inhibitor conjugate. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine works by attaching to the HER2 cancer cells and blocking them from dividing and growing. It may also destroy the cancer cells or signal the body (immune system) to destroy the cancer cells.

How to use Kadcyla intravenous

See also Warning and Side Effects sections.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine may also be called trastuzumab emtansine. However, ado-trastuzumab emtansine is not the same as trastuzumab. Do not substitute trastuzumab for ado-trastuzumab emtansine.

This medication is given by slow injection into a vein by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually once every 3 weeks. Your first infusion will be given over at least 90 minutes.

The dosage, the speed of your injection, and the length of time you receive ado-trastuzumab emtansine is based on your body weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.

To get the most benefit from this medication, do not miss any doses. To help you remember, mark the days on the calendar when you need to receive the medication.

Your doctor may prescribe other medications (such as acetaminophen, diphenhydramine) for you to take before the start of your treatment to help prevent serious side effects.

Kadcyla intravenous Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Diarrhea, redness/irritation at the injection site, dizziness, muscle/joint/back pain, stomach/abdominal pain, constipation, trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, dry mouth, changes in taste, and loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: bone pain, increased coughing, trouble breathing, swelling of the hands/ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, severe headache, tingling/numbness (such as in the hands, feet, leg), mental/mood changes, fast/pounding heartbeat, muscle cramps, easy bruising/bleeding.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, vision changes, confusion.

This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough).

This medication can sometimes cause a serious infusion reaction with serious lung problems. Immediately tell your doctor of the following side effects that occur while this drug is being given or within 24 hours after your treatment is finished, such as chills, fever, flushing, wheezing, shortness of breath, nausea, headache, dizziness, fainting, rash, and weakness.

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor immediately if you develop any rash.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Kadcyla intravenous Precautions

See also Warning section.

Before taking ado-trastuzumab emtansine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other mouse protein medications; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: previous cancer treatments (including radiation therapy to the chest), current infection, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung problems, previous severe reaction to monoclonal antibody treatment, liver disease (including a rare liver condition called nodular regenerative hyperplasia).

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially heart problems (such as heart failure).

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control with their doctors while using this medication and for 6 months after treatment has stopped. A pregnancy test should be done before starting treatment. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug or for 6 months after the last dose. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Kadcyla intravenous Interactions

See also Warning section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Other medications can affect the removal of ado-trastuzumab emtansine from your body, which may affect how ado-trastuzumab emtansine works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), clarithromycin, HIV protease inhibitors (such as atazanavir, ritonavir), nefazodone, telithromycin, among others.

Kadcyla intravenous Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

NOTES:

Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as heart exams, platelet counts, liver function, bilirubin level) should be performed before you start treatment, and periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

MISSED DOSE:

For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.

STORAGE:

Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic or hospital and will not be stored at home.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

See 2 Reviews for this Drug. - OR -

Review this Treatment

Find a Drug:

by name or medical condition or shape/color (Pill Identifier)

(for example: aspirin)

(for example: diabetes)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
 
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ask the pharmacist

Questions about medications? Get expert answers by video or live chat about allergies, pregnancy, sleep, and more.
See the Ask the Pharmacist event schedule.

Ask a Question

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.

WebMD the app

Get trusted health information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More

IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.