Kadcyla

Kadcyla treats HER2 positive breast cancer. To ensure this medication works, you will be tested to see if you have (HER2+) breast cancer.

Kadcyla Overview

Reviewed: March 20, 2013
Updated: 

Kadcyla is a prescription medication used to treat a certain type of breast cancer. It used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and has not improved or has worsened after treatment with other medications. Kadcyla belongs to a group of drugs called antibody-drug conjugates. It works by killing cancer cells.

Kadcyla injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected slowly into a vein by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects include constipation, nausea, headache, and fatigue. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication will affect you.

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Kadcyla Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Kadcyla

Kadcyla is a prescription medication used to treat a certain type of breast cancer. It used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and has not improved or has worsened after treatment with other medications.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
 

Kadcyla Drug Class

Kadcyla is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Kadcyla

Common side effects include the following:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • sores in the mouth and throat
  • dry mouth
  • changes in ability to taste
  • joint or muscle pain
  • headache
  • dry, red, or teary eyes
  • blurry vision
  • trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

This is not a complete list of this medication’s side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
 

Kadcyla Interactions

Kadcyla should be taken with caution with certain other medications that can change the way it is metabolized. Let your doctor know about other medications including supplements you may be taking before starting Kadcyla. Medications that interact with Kadcyla include:

  • Ketoconazole
  • Itraconazole
  • Telithromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Ritonavir
  • Indinavir
  • Nelfinavir
  • Salquinavir
  • Nefazdone
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Clozapine

This is not a complete list of interactions with Kadcyla. 

Kadcyla Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Kadcyla including the following:

  • Kadcyla injection may cause serious infusion-related reactions, which may occur during the infusion of the medication. If you experience any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately: flushing; fever; chills; dizziness; lightheadedness; fainting; shortness of breath; difficulty breathing; or fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.
  • Kadcyla may cause serious or life-threatening liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, including hepatitis. Your doctor will order laboratory tests regularly before and during your treatment to see if Kadcyla is affecting your liver. Your doctor may tell you that you should not receive this medication if the tests show that you have liver problems. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking so they can check whether any of your medications may increase the risk that you will develop liver damage during your treatment with Kadcyla. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, extreme tiredness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark-colored urine, or flu-like symptoms.
  • Kadcyla also may cause serious or life-threatening heart problems. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, a heart attack, chest pain, or irregular heartbeats. Your doctor will order tests before and during your treatment to see if your heart is working well enough for you to safely receive Kadcyla. Your doctor may tell you that you should not receive this medication if the tests show your heart's ability to pump blood has decreased. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: cough; shortness of breath; swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs; weight gain (more than 5 pounds [about 2.3 kilograms] in 24 hours); dizziness; loss of consciousness; or fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Kadcyla may harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for 6 months after your treatment. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant during your treatment with Kadcyla, call your doctor immediately.

Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication will affect you.

Kadcyla Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with this medication and can lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Inform MD

Before receiving Kadcyla,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Kadcyla, trastuzumab, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Kadcyla injection. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the conditions mentioned in the "Kadcyla Precautions" section.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had trouble breathing, even when resting, or any other medical condition.
  • tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breast-feed while receiving Kadcyla.

 

Kadcyla and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category D. Kadcyla may harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment and for 6 months after your treatment. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant during your treatment with Kadcyla, call your doctor immediately.

Kadcyla and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if this medication crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using this medication.
 

Kadcyla Usage

Kadcyla injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected slowly into a vein by a healthcare professional. It is usually injected once every 3 weeks. The length of your treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication and the side effects that you experience.

 

Kadcyla Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The recommended dose is 3.6 mg/kg given every 3 weeks (21-day cycle).

Kadcyla Overdose

Since this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
 

Other Requirements

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.

Kadcyla FDA Warning

  • Do not substitute Kadcyla for or with trastuzumab.
  • Hepatotoxicity, liver failure and death have occurred in patients treated with Kadcyla. Monitor hepatic function prior to initiation and prior to each dose. Institute dose modifications or permanently discontinue as appropriate.
  • Kadcyla may lead to reductions in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). Assess LVEF prior to initiation. Monitor and withhold dosing or discontinue as appropriate.
  • Can cause fetal harm. Advise women of potential risk to the fetus.