Generic Name: pertuzumab (per TOO zoo mab)
Brand Name: Perjeta
What is pertuzumab?
Pertuzumab is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Pertuzumab is used together with traztuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere) to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Pertuzumab is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.
Pertuzumab may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about pertuzumab?
Pertuzumab can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant.
Before receiving pertuzumab, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, a history of heart attack, or any allergies or breathing problems. You may not be able to receive pertuzumab, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Some people receiving a pertuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, itchy, or short of breath during the injection.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving pertuzumab?
You should not use pertuzumab if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
To make sure you can safely receive pertuzumab, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
a heart rhythm disorder;
congestive heart failure;
untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension);
if you have recently had a heart attack;
if you have received a cancer medication such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil), daunorubicin (Cerubidine, Daunoxome), epirubicin (Ellence), idarubicin (Idamycin), or valrubicin (Valstar); or
if you have ever had a radiation treatment in your chest area.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use pertuzumab if you are pregnant. It can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of pertuzumab on the baby.
It is not known whether pertuzumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using pertuzumab.
How is pertuzumab given?
Pertuzumab is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Pertuzumab must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
Before you receive this medication, you may need to undergo a biopsy to make sure pertuzumab is the right medication to treat your cancer.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your heart function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
To make sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.
Pertuzumab is usually given once every 3 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your pertuzumab injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving pertuzumab?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Pertuzumab side effects
Some people receiving a pertuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel weak, tired, or nauseated, or if you have a fast heartbeat, headache, fever, chills, muscle pain, or an unusual taste in your mouth during the injection.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
swelling, rapid weight gain; or
anxiety, sweating, pale skin, severe shortness of breath, wheezing, gasping for breath, cough with foamy mucus, chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate.
Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
dry skin, temporary hair loss;
mild rash or itching;
numbness or tingling in your hands or feet; or
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: pertuzumab side effects (in more detail)
Pertuzumab Dosing Information
Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:
The initial dose of pertuzumab is 840 mg intravenously administered as a 60 minute infusion, followed every 3 weeks with 420 mg intravenously over 30 to 60 minutes.
When administered with pertuzumab, the recommended initial dose of trastuzumab is 8 mg/kg intravenously over 90 minutes, followed every 3 weeks with 6 mg/kg intravenously over 30 to 90 minutes.
When administered with pertuzumab, the recommended initial dose of docetaxel is 75 mg/m2 intravenously. The dose may be escalated to 100 mg/m2 administered every 3 weeks if the initial dose is well tolerated.
What other drugs will affect pertuzumab?
There may be other drugs that can affect pertuzumab. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
More pertuzumab resources
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about pertuzumab.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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