Cancer Home > Side Effects of Trastuzumab

Common side effects of trastuzumab include headaches, nausea, and weakness. However, these side effects are typically minor and easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Fortunately, most people tolerate the drug without any problems. However, some trastuzumab side effects are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider, such as depression and signs of an allergic reaction or congestive heart failure.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Trastuzumab

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with trastuzumab (Herceptin®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with trastuzumab. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of trastuzumab side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Trastuzumab

Trastuzumab has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which the side effects of a group of people taking the drug are documented. In these studies, the most common side effects of trastuzumab included:
  • Pain -- in up to 47 percent of people
  • Weakness -- up to 42 percent
  • Fever -- up to 36 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 33 percent
  • Chills -- up to 32 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 26 percent
  • Coughing -- up to 26 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 2 to 25 percent of people) included:


This data does not include information from studies that combined Herceptin with other medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, since chemotherapy itself causes many side effects. 


Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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