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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 (trastuzumab 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.

Do not use pertuzumab if you are pregnant. It can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.

Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using pertuzumab and for at least 7 months after your last dose. This is especially important if you also use trastuzumab. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment or within 7 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?

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Pertuzumab side effects

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.

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.

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:

  • nausea, diarrhea;

  • temporary hair loss;

  • tired feeling;

  • 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.

Side Effects (complete list)

Pertuzumab dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:

Recommended dose: 840 mg IV administered as an initial dose over 60 minutes, followed every 3 weeks thereafter by 420 mg IV over 30 to 60 minutes
Duration: Until disease progression, withdrawal of consent, or unmanageable toxicity

-Pertuzumab is given in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel.
-Follow the manufacturer recommended dosing or local protocol for complete dosing information on trastuzumab and docetaxel.
-Pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel should be administered sequentially. Pertuzumab and trastuzumab can be given in any order. Docetaxel should be administered after pertuzumab and trastuzumab.
-An observation period of 30 to 60 minutes is recommended after each pertuzumab infusion and before commencement of any subsequent infusion of trastuzumab or docetaxel.

Use: Metastatic breast cancer (MBC): This drug is indicated for use in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who have not received prior anti-HER2 8 therapy or chemotherapy for metastatic disease.

Recommended dose: 840 mg IV administered as an initial dose over 60 minutes, followed every 3 weeks thereafter by 420 mg IV over 30 to 60 minutes. Pertuzumab should be given by IV infusion preoperatively every 3 weeks for 3 to 6 cycles.

Based on studies, the manufacturer recommends 3 different treatment options for early breast cancer:
1) Four preoperative cycles of pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel followed by 3 postoperative cycles of fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC).
2) Three preoperative cycles of FEC alone followed by 3 preoperative cycles of pertuzumab in combination with docetaxel and trastuzumab.
3) Six preoperative cycles of pertuzumab in combination with docetaxel, carboplatin, and trastuzumab (TCH).

-Consult the manufacturer recommended dosing or local protocol for complete dosing information on all concomitant medications.
-There is insufficient evidence to recommend continued use of pertuzumab for greater than 6 cycles for early breast cancer.

Use: Neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer: This drug is indicated for use in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel for the neoadjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer (either greater than 2 cm in diameter or node positive) as part of a complete treatment regimen for early breast cancer

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.

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.
  • 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.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04.

Date modified: December 03, 2017
Last reviewed: December 16, 2015