Pertuzumab can result in subclinical and clinical cardiac failure manifesting as decreased left ventricular ejection fraction and congestive heart failure. Evaluate cardiac function prior to and during treatment. Discontinue pertuzumab treatment for a confirmed clinically significant decrease in left ventricular function. Exposure to pertuzumab can result in embryo-fetal death and birth defects. Advise patients of these risks and the need for effective contraception .
Medically reviewed on September 3, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody
Uses For pertuzumab
Pertuzumab injection is used to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used together with other cancer medicines (eg, docetaxel, trastuzumab) to treat patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. The HER2 protein is produced by some breast tumors. Pertuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that interferes with the growth of this protein, which is eventually destroyed by the body.
Pertuzumab is also used as part of a complete treatment regimen for early breast cancer before surgery and as an additional treatment for breast cancer that is at high risk for occurring again.
Pertuzumab is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before Using pertuzumab
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For pertuzumab, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to pertuzumab or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of pertuzumab injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pertuzumab injection in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of pertuzumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Congestive heart failure—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Proper Use of pertuzumab
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving pertuzumab, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
A doctor or other trained health professional will give you pertuzumab while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. It is given through a needle placed into a vein. It is usually given once every 3 weeks.
Precautions While Using pertuzumab
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that pertuzumab is working properly and to check for unwanted effects. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Your unborn baby could be harmed if you use pertuzumab while you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment with pertuzumab and for 7 months after the last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant.
Pertuzumab may cause heart failure. Your doctor will test your heart before you start receiving pertuzumab. The test will be repeated every few months while you are receiving the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, rapid weight gain, or abnormal swelling in your ankles or legs. These could be symptoms of heart failure.
Pertuzumab may cause a serious infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have a fever, chills, chest pain, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, a headache, a rash, pain, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, or weakness within a few hours after the infusion.
Pertuzumab may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you get the injection.
Cancer medicines can cause nausea or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. If this happens, ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
Pertuzumab Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
- fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, or rash
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- redness of the skin
- sore throat
- swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing or swallowing
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Body aches or pain
- change in taste
- cracked lips
- decreased appetite
- dry skin
- ear congestion
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- loosening of the fingernails
- loss of taste
- loss of voice
- nasal congestion
- redness or soreness around the fingernails
- runny nose
- watering of the eyes
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about pertuzumab
- Pertuzumab Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: HER2 inhibitors
Other brands: Perjeta