Breast Cancer Home > Herceptin Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects of Herceptin include pain, weakness, and fever. However, most people who take the medication do not have any problems. In many cases, if side effects should occur, they are typically minor and easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, you should notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop more serious side effects, such as depression or signs of an allergic reaction or congestive heart failure.

An Introduction to Herceptin Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Herceptin® (trastuzumab). However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. 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 Herceptin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Herceptin side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Herceptin

Herceptin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which the side effects of a group of people taking the drug are documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. In these studies, the most common side effects of Herceptin 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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