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Generic name: pertuzumab [ per-TOO-zoo-mab ]
Brand name: Perjeta
Dosage form: intravenous solution (420 mg/14 mL)
Drug class: HER2 inhibitors

Medically reviewed by on May 4, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is pertuzumab?

Pertuzumab is used together with other medicines (trastuzumab and docetaxel) to treat HER2-positive breast cancer.

Pertuzumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Pertuzumab can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant. Avoid getting pregnant while using pertuzumab and for at least 7 months after your last dose.

Pertuzumab can cause life-threatening heart problems. Call your doctor at once if you have new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, or swelling in your lower legs.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use pertuzumab if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Do not use pertuzumab if you are pregnant. It can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using pertuzumab with trastuzumab, and for at least 7 months after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of pertuzumab on the baby.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using pertuzumab with trastuzumab, and for up to 7 months after your last dose. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is pertuzumab given?

Pertuzumab is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Pertuzumab is usually given once every 3 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Pertuzumab can cause life-threatening heart problems. Your heart function may need to be checked before you start using pertuzumab and during your treatment.

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

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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.

Pertuzumab may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • dizziness, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • new or worsening cough or shortness of breath;

  • swelling in your lower legs;

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed; or

  • signs of tumor cell breakdown--confusion, weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, fast or slow heart rate, decreased urination, tingling in your hands and feet or around your mouth.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, diarrhea;

  • temporary hair loss;

  • fever, low blood cell counts;

  • tiredness;

  • rash; or

  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet.

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.

What other drugs will affect pertuzumab?

Other drugs may affect pertuzumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Popular FAQ

If you are receiving Perjeta for treatment of HER2+ early breast cancer, you may continue treatments with Herceptin every 3 weeks for one year (18 cycles total). For the treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer, you will receive Perjeta and Herceptin until the medicine no longer controls your breast cancer or you have side effects that require you to stop treatment. You may receive other treatments with these medications. Continue reading

Perjeta (pertuzumab) intravenous solution (420 mg per 14 milliliters) costs about $5,534 if you are paying cash with a discount, or over $99,000 per year. Your insurance will be billed for this medication if you have coverage. You may have additional costs associated with administration of this medication. If you cannot afford this drug, the manufacturer Genentech may be able to help. Continue reading

Perjeta (pertuzumab) is considered a targeted cancer therapy, which is different from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells that grow rapidly, but may also affect normal cells. Targeted drug therapy like Perjeta attacks HER2 proteins on certain cancer cells that cause rapid growth. However, Perjeta may also affect these proteins on healthy cells (which occur in fewer amounts). Continue reading

More FAQ

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.