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Generic name: pertuzumabper-TOO-zoo-mab ]
Drug class: HER2 inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on May 23, 2023.

What is Perjeta?

Perjeta is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

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

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


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

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

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

Do not use Perjeta if you are allergic to pertuzumab, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Do not use Perjeta 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 Perjeta with trastuzumab, and for up to 7 months after your last dose. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is Perjeta given?

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

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

Perjeta 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 Perjeta 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 Perjeta?

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.

Perjeta side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Perjeta: 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.

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 Perjeta 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 Perjeta?

Other drugs may interact with 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

Your first infusion of Perjeta will last about 60 minutes. After the first infusion, your infusions will last about 30 to 60 minutes, but this can vary. Perjeta (generic name: pertuzumab) is usually given once every 3 weeks through your vein as an intravenous (IV) infusion in a clinic. Continue reading

Some of the most common side effects with Perjeta include: diarrhea, alopecia, neutropenia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, rash, low red or white blood cells, and nerve damage. Other side effects can also occur. Continue reading

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

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Further information

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.

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