Ado-trastuzumab Emtansine Injection

Uses of Ado-trastuzumab Emtansine

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection is used to treat a certain type of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and has not improved or has worsened after treatment with other medications. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is also used after surgery for a certain type of breast cancer in women who have had treatment with other chemotherapy medications before surgery, but there was still cancer remaining in the tissue removed during surgery. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is in a class of medications called antibody-drug conjugates. It works by killing cancer cells.

Side Effects of Ado-trastuzumab Emtansine

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

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

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:

  • pain, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, or sores near the place where the medication was injected
  • fever, sore throat, chills, difficulty urinating, pain when urinating, and other signs of infection
  • nosebleeds and other unusual bleeding or bruising
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds
  • pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet, muscle weakness, trouble moving
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • nausea; vomiting; loss of appetite; fatigue; rapid heartbeat; dark urine; decreased amount of urine; stomach pain; seizures; hallucinations; or muscle cramps and spasms
  • shortness of breath, cough, extreme tiredness

Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before receiving ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ado-trastuzumab emtansine, trastuzumab, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in ado-trastuzumab emtansine 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 with ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: apixaban (Eliquis), aspirin (Durlaza, in Aggrenox, others), atazanavir (Reyataz, in Evotaz), cilostazol (Pletal), clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac), clopidogrel (Plavix), dabigatran (Pradaxa), dalteparin (Fragmin), dipyridamole (Persantine, in Aggrenox), edoxaban (Savaysa), enoxaparin (Lovenox), fondaparinux (Arixtra), heparin, indinavir (Crixivan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir (Viracept), prasugrel (Effient), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra, Technivie, Viekira Pak), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), saquinavir (Invirase), telithromycin (Ketek), ticagrelor (Brilinta), vorapaxar (Zontivity), voriconazole (Vfend), and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects while receiving ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection.
  • tell your doctor if you are of Asian descent, or if you have or have ever had any of the conditions mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, trouble breathing, even when resting, radiation therapy, or any other medical condition.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed while receiving ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection and for 7 months after your final dose.


Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and infused (injected slowly) into a vein by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or medical facility. 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.
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection may cause serious infusion-related reactions, which may occur during or shortly after the infusion of the medication. It should take 90 minutes for you to receive your first dose of ado-trastuzumab emtansine. A doctor or nurse will watch you closely to see how your body reacts to this medication. If you do not have any serious problems when you receive your first dose of ado-trastuzumab emtansine, it will usually take 30 minutes for you to receive each of your remaining doses 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.

Your doctor may need to delay your treatment, slow down the infusion, or stop your treatment if you experience certain side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection.


Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order a lab test before you begin your treatment to see whether your cancer can be treated with ado-trastuzumab emtansine injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.