Strength, form, when given, and more

Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a brand name prescription drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain types of cancer that contain human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The drug is approved for use in adults.

Specifically, Herceptin is used to treat:

Herceptin is known as a HER2-targeting treatment. The FDA has approved several biosimilar forms of Herceptin: Herzuma, Kanjinti, Ogivri, Ontruzant and Trazimera.

Herceptin comes as a powder in a single-dose vial. The powder is mixed with sterile water to form a solution administered by IV infusion. Your doctor or other healthcare professional will give you your infusion.

For breast cancer, Herceptin is usually prescribed for 52 weeks. For metastatic cancers, Herceptin is given until it is no longer effective for your condition.

Dosage Summary

The following table summarizes Herceptin dosages. Your doctor will determine the dosage that is best for you.

* One kg is approximately 2.2 pounds (lb).
† One week after your last infusion, your doctor may give you 6 mg/kg over 30 to 90 minutes. It will probably be once every 3 weeks for 39 weeks.

For more information on Herceptin dosage, including its strength and how the drug is administered, keep reading. For a complete overview of Herceptin, check out this article.

Below is information about Herceptin and its typical dosages for different types of cancer.

Form of herceptin

Herceptin comes as a powder in a single-dose vial. The powder is mixed with sterile water to form a solution administered by IV infusion. Your doctor or other healthcare professional will give you your infusion.

Herceptin Strength

Herceptin is available in one strength: 150 milligrams (mg).

Typical dosages

Your dose of Herceptin will depend on the type of cancer you have. The dosage prescribed by your doctor may change over time.

The following information describes commonly prescribed or recommended doses. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to meet your needs.

Dosage for HER2-positive breast cancer

See below for specific Herceptin dosages for HER2-positive breast cancer.

Dosage of Herceptin given with or after certain treatments

For this use, doctors may prescribe Herceptin along with certain medications. These include doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and paclitaxel or docetaxel. If you have treatment with docetaxel, it can be with or without carboplatin. Your doctor may also prescribe Herceptin after you have finished treatment with these medicines.

Typically, the loading dose (first infusion) of Herceptin is 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg). (One kg is approximately 2.2 pounds [lb].) For example, if you weigh 69 kg (about 152 lbs), your total dose would be 276 mg.

This first dose will be administered by IV infusion over 90 minutes. After that, you will usually receive a maintenance (long-term) dose of 2 mg/kg Herceptin given over 30 minutes. You will receive this dose once a week for 12 to 18 weeks.

One week after your last infusion, your doctor may give you 6 mg/kg over 30 to 90 minutes. It will probably be once every 3 weeks for 39 weeks.

You and your doctor will decide if continuing weekly treatment or changing to every 3 weeks treatment is right for you. Regardless of your dosing schedule, you will likely take Herceptin for a total of 52 weeks.

Dosage of Herceptin after treatment with anthracyclines

For this use, your doctor may prescribe Herceptin after your cancer has been treated with certain anthracycline medicines.

Your doctor will usually start treatment with Herceptin within 3 weeks of your last dose of anthracycline.

In this case, the loading dose of Herceptin will probably be 8 mg/kg given over 90 minutes. After that, you will receive a maintenance dose of 6 mg/kg given over 30 to 90 minutes. You will receive this dose once every 3 weeks for 52 weeks.

Dosage for HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer

To treat HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, your doctor may prescribe Herceptin alone or with paclitaxel.

Typically, the loading dose (first infusion) of Herceptin is 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg). (One kg is approximately 2.2 pounds [lb].) For example, if you weigh 69 kg (about 152 lbs), your total dose of Herceptin would be 276 mg.

This first infusion is usually given over 90 minutes. After that, you will receive a maintenance (long-term) dose of 2 mg/kg given over 30 minutes. You will receive this dose once a week until Herceptin is no longer effective for your condition.

Dosage for HER-positive metastatic gastric cancer

For HER-positive metastatic gastric cancer, your doctor may prescribe Herceptin with other medications. These include cisplatin and Xeloda (capecitabine) or 5-fluorouracil.

Typically, the loading dose (first infusion) of Herceptin is 8 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg). (One kg is approximately 2.2 pounds [lb].) For example, if you weigh 69 kg (about 152 lbs), your total dose of Herceptin would be 552 mg.

This first infusion is usually given over 90 minutes. After that, you will receive a maintenance (long-term) dose of 6 mg/kg given over 30 to 90 minutes. You will receive it once every 3 weeks until Herceptin is no longer effective for your condition.

Long term treatment

Herceptin is intended to be taken for 52 weeks or longer. It depends on your condition. If you and your doctor determine that Herceptin is safe and effective for you, you are likely to take it long term.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Herceptin.

How often is Herceptin given? Will I receive a dose of Herceptin every 3 weeks?

How often you receive Herceptin depends on the type of cancer you have. You may receive a dose of Herceptin once a week or once every 3 weeks. As a rule, you will receive a dose once every 3 weeks if you have:

If you have any questions about how often you will receive Herceptin, talk to your doctor. You can also see the “Herceptin Dosage” section above.

Is Herceptin prescribed with a loading dose?

Yes. Typically, Herceptin is prescribed with a loading dose. A loading dose is administered at the start of treatment. And it usually contains a higher amount of medicine than the doses you will receive later. Your loading dose will depend on the type of cancer you have.

If you have any questions about your Herceptin loading dose, talk to your doctor. You can also see the “Herceptin Dosage” section above.

Does obesity affect Herceptin dosage?

Yes. Obesity (a body mass index of 30 or more) affects the dosage of Herceptin. This is because the dosage of Herceptin is based on your weight. Also, the dose you receive may change over time if you gain or lose weight.

Herceptin is prescribed in milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg). (One kg is approximately 2.2 pounds [lb].) For example, if your dose is 4 mg/kg and you weigh:

  • 46 kg (approximately 101 lbs), you will receive 184 mg of Herceptin
  • 90 kg (approximately 198 lbs), you will receive 360 ​​mg of Herceptin

If you have any questions about your weight and the dosage of Herceptin, talk to your doctor.

The dosage of Herceptin prescribed by your doctor will depend on several factors. These include:

Other medical conditions you have may also affect your dose of Herceptin.

Herceptin comes as a powder in a single-dose vial. The powder is mixed with sterile water to form a solution administered by IV infusion. (An IV infusion is an injection given over a period of time.) Your doctor or other healthcare professional will give you your infusion.

To get your infusion, you will go to your doctor’s office or clinic. The infusion usually takes 30 to 90 minutes.

For more details on how Herceptin is given, talk to your doctor.

It is important to stick to your Herceptin treatment schedule. If you miss an infusion appointment for your dose, call your doctor to reschedule it as soon as possible. Typically, if you miss an infusion by:

  • a week or less, you may be able to receive your usual maintenance (long-term) dose as soon as possible
  • more than a week, you may need another loading dose (first infusion)

In general, you will be able to continue your treatment program after receiving the missed dose.

To make sure you don’t miss an infusion appointment, try using a medication reminder. This may include setting an alarm or using a timer. You can also download a reminder app on your phone.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Herceptin, he will prescribe the dosage that is right for you. If you have any questions about the dosage of Herceptin that is right for you, talk to your doctor.

Besides learning the dosage, you may want other information about Herceptin. These additional articles might be useful:

Warning: Medical News Today has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually correct, complete and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or for all specific uses.

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