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  • Generic Name: (ado-trastuzumab emtansine)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 08/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Kadcyla is an anticancer medicine used to treat a certain type of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Kadcyla is administered intravenously (through a vein in your arm).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Kadcyla works by stopping the growth of cancer cells and helping your body destroy them. 

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Studies show that women receiving treatment with Kadcyla live longer, on average, than women on another cancer treatment.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Kadcyla is not the same medicine as trastuzumab (Herceptin).

      Kadcyla may cause serious liver problems. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach area) pain, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark urine, itching, or loss of appetite.

      Kadcyla may cause certain heart problems. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience new onset or worsening shortness of breath, coughing, swelling of the ankles or legs, fluttery or throbbing heartbeat, weight gain of more than 5 pounds in 24 hours, dizziness, or fainting.

      Kadcyla can harm your unborn baby. It is important that you use effective forms of birth control. Talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate birth control.

      More common side effects may include: tiredness, nausea, muscle and joint pain, bleeding, headache, constipation, nosebleeds, low platelet (a type of blood cell that forms clots to help stop bleeding) counts.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Lung problems, with symptoms such as trouble breathing, cough, fluid in the lungs, and tiredness.

      Infusion-related reactions, with symptoms such as the skin getting hot or red, chills, fever, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, wheezing, tightening of the muscles in the chest around the airways, or a fast heartbeat.

      Skin reactions around the infusion site, with symptoms such as redness, tenderness, skin irritation, or pain or swelling at the infusion site.

      Kadcyla may also cause numbness, pain, or tingling in your hands or feet; or life-threatening bleeding.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will not administer Kadcyla to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Kadcyla. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver or heart problems, are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your weight.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will administer Kadcyla to you.

      Women who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment and for 7 months following the last dose of Kadcyla. Also, men with female partners who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment and for 4 months following the last dose. Talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate birth control.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Kadcyla is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Kadcyla may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Kadcyla can harm your unborn baby if used during pregnancy. The effects of Kadcyla during breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed during treatment with Kadcyla and for 7 months following the last dose. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

      There is a pregnancy exposure registry and a pregnancy pharmacovigilance program that monitors pregnancy outcomes for women who are exposed to Kadcyla during pregnancy or who become pregnant within 7 months following the last dose. Talk to your healthcare provider about enrolling in the MotHER Pregnancy Registry and reporting the pregnancy to Genentech.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Kadcyla should be given under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will store this medication for you.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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