Generic Name: pertuzumab (per TOO zoo mab)
Brand Names: Perjeta
What is Perjeta?
Perjeta (pertuzumab) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Perjeta is used together with traztuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere) to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Perjeta is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.
Perjeta may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Perjeta
Perjeta can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant.
Before receiving Perjeta, 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 Perjeta, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Some people receiving a Perjeta 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.
Before receiving Perjeta
You should not use Perjeta if you are allergic to pertuzumab, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
To make sure you can safely receive Perjeta, 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 Perjeta 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 Perjeta 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 Perjeta.
See also: Perjeta pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How is Perjeta given?
Perjeta is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Perjeta 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 Perjeta is the right medication to treat your cancer.
To be sure Perjeta 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 Perjeta 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.
Perjeta 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 Perjeta 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 Perjeta?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Perjeta side effects
Some people receiving a Perjeta 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 to Perjeta: 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 Perjeta 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: Perjeta side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Perjeta?
There may be other drugs that can affect Perjeta. 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 Perjeta resources
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Perjeta.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Perjeta only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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