How is Herceptin administered and what are the likely side effects?
This drug is given through a vein. It may be given alone or with chemotherapy. Side effects that most commonly occur during the first treatment include fever and chills.
Other possible side effects include weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, difficulty breathing, and rashes. These side effects generally become less severe after the first treatment. Herceptin also may cause heart damage, heart failure, and serious breathing problems. Before and during treatment, your doctor will check your heart and lungs.
Lapatinib: blocking abnormal proteins that signal cancer cells to multiply
This tablet, taken by mouth, helps stop or slow the spread of cancer cells. Lapatinib is given with chemotherapy or after other methods have not worked to slow the cancer.
Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, mouth sores, and rashes. It can also cause red, painful hands and feet. Before treatment, your doctor will check your heart and liver. During treatment, your doctor will watch for signs of heart, lung, or liver problems.
As with all medical treatments, if you experience unusual changes in your health during targeted therapy, notify your doctor immediately.