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 other cancer medicines (traztuzumab and docetaxel) to treat HER2-positive breast cancer.
Pertuzumab may also be used for 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. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication.
Pertuzumab can cause life-threatening heart problems. Your heart function may need to be checked before you start using pertuzumab and during your treatment.
Call your doctor at once if you have shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, or rapid weight gain.
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 pertuzumab is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm disorder;
untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension);
if you have recently had a heart attack; 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?
Before you receive this medication, you may need to undergo a biopsy to make sure pertuzumab is the right medication to treat your cancer.
Pertuzumab is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.
Pertuzumab is usually given once every 3 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.
You may need frequent medical tests to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
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?
Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid while receiving pertuzumab?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Pertuzumab side effects
Some side effects may occur during the injection. 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.
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:
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums); or
pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating.
Common side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
temporary hair loss;
numbness or tingling in your hands or feet; or
mild rash or itching.
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: Side effects (in more detail)
Pertuzumab dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:
Metastatic 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.
840 mg intravenously, followed by 420 mg intravenously every 3 weeks with trastuzumab and docetaxel for 3 to 6 cycles. Refer to manufacturer's product information for complete dosing information on all concomitant treatment medications.
What other drugs will affect pertuzumab?
Other drugs may interact with pertuzumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about pertuzumab
- Other brands: Perjeta
Related treatment guides
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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