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What should your doctor know before you receive Herceptin

He has to know if you have any of these conditions:
breathing problems, such as asthma or COPD
bleeding problems
blood disorders
chest pain
heart disease or heart failure
infection (especially virus infections such as chickenpox or herpes)
prior treatment with radiation therapy or cyclophosphamide doxorubicin, epirubicin or mitoxantrone
lung disease
an unusual or allergic reaction to Herceptin, benzyl alcohol, or other medications, foods, dyes or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant

How should you use Herceptin

Herceptin is for infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic setting by a health care professional. Continue a regular schedule of doses, usually given as a weekly infusion.

What if you miss a dose:

It is important not to miss a dose. Notify your prescriber or other health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What drugs may interact with Herceptin

other chemotherapy agents, especially cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin, may increase some of the side effects due to Herceptin

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

Possible side effects of Herceptin

The side effects you may experience with Herceptin therapy depend upon the dose, other types of chemotherapy or radiation therapy given, and the disease being treated. Not all of these effects occur in all patients. Discuss any concerns or questions with your prescriber or health care professional.

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or other health care professional as soon as possible:
Rare or uncommon:
difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
feeling lightheaded or dizziness upon standing
swelling of ankles or legs
shortness of breath
swelling or tightening of the throat or tongue
More common:
rash or hives
nausea and/or vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or other health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
sore throat
muscle aches
tingling of fingers or toes
runny nose
stomach pain
nasal congestion
unusual tiredness or weakness

What should you watch for while taking Herceptin

Visit your prescriber or healthcare professional for checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks if you receive Herceptin with chemotherapy. The side effects of Herceptin can occur after you finish your infusion; report any side effects promptly, especially any difficulties in breathing, feeling lightheaded, hives, or other signs of an allergic reaction.

If you receive Herceptin and chemotherapy together, you may have an increased number of side effects due to the chemotherapy. Report any side effects as above, but continue your course of medicine even though you feel ill, unless your prescriber or health care professional tells you to stop.

Call your prescriber or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose; do not treat yourself.

You may experience fever, chills and shakes during your first infusion of Herceptin. These effects are usually mild and can be treated with medicines. Report any reactions that occur during the infusion to your health care professional. These effects usually do not happen with later infusions.

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