Some patients have had serious infusion reactions and lung problems; fatal infusion reactions have been reported. These reactions usually occur during or within 24 hours of receiving Herceptin.
The patient’s doctor may need to completely stop Herceptin treatment if the patient has a severe allergic reaction, swelling, lung problems, inflammation of the lung or severe shortness of breath.
Herceptin can cause harm to the fetus (unborn baby), and in some cases death to the fetus, when taken by a pregnant woman. Women who could become pregnant need to use effective birth control methods during Herceptin treatment and for at least six months after treatment with Herceptin. Nursing mothers treated with Herceptin should discontinue nursing or discontinue Herceptin.
Worsening of low white blood cell counts associated with chemotherapy has also occurred.Patients must have a HER2 test to determine if their breast cancer is HER2-positive before using Herceptin, as benefit has only been shown in patients who are HER2-positive. The most common side effects associated with Herceptin in patients with breast cancer are fever, nausea, vomiting, infusion reactions, diarrhea, infections, increased cough, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, rash, low white and red blood cells and muscle pain. Because everyone is different, it is not possible to predict what side effects any one patient will have. Patients with questions or concerns about side effects should talk to their doctor. Patients should read the Herceptin Full Prescribing Information including Boxed WARNINGS, at http://www.herceptin.com. About Breast Cancer Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 229,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,000 will die from the disease in 2012. In HER2-positive breast cancer, increased quantities of the Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) are present on the surface of the tumor cells. This is known as “HER2 positivity” and affects approximately 25 percent of people with breast cancer. HER2-positive cancer is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. About Genentech Access Solutions Genentech is committed to people having access to our medicines. Genentech Access Solutions is a team of more than 350 Genentech employees who help those who need our medicines. Our knowledgeable and experienced Specialists can help patients and medical practices navigate the access and reimbursement process and provide assistance to eligible patients in the United States who do not have insurance coverage or who cannot afford their out-of-pocket co-pay costs. For more information, please visit http://www.GenentechAccessSolutions.com. About Genentech Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.