Generic Name: trastuzumab

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: N/A

Other Market Name: Ogivri, Herzuma, Ontruzant, Trazimera, Kanjinti

Drug Class: Targeted Therapy Medications

Company: Genentech

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: Yes

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Herceptin is a HER2 inhibitor approved for adjuvant (post-surgery) therapy of early breast cancer and treatment of metastatic breast cancer, stomach cancer and esophageal cancer that overexpresses human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

General Info

Herceptin, trastuzumab

About 20% of breast cancers have a high level of HER2/neu receptors. HER2 plays a role in cell division and repair, and blocking these receptors can slow cancer growth. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody used for adjuvant therapy after surgery, usually following or in combination with chemotherapy, to prevent the recurrence or spread of early breast cancer. It is also used alone or with chemotherapy to treat metastatic breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast, and for metastatic cancer of the stomach or the junction between the stomach and esophagus. It was first approved in 1998.


Dosing Info:

Herceptin is administered as an intravenous infusion. A subcutaneous injection formulation (Herceptin Hylecta) was recently approved. Biosimilar versions are available (Ogivri, Herzuma, Ontruzant).

Side Effects

Common side effects include fever, chills, headache, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle pain and skin rash. Herceptin can cause depletion of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells (neutropenia) and platelets (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to infections and easy bleeding. Potential serious side effects may include heart problems and infusion reactions. Herceptin should not be used during pregnancy.

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Last Reviewed: June 13, 2019