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Generic Name:

pertuzumab, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • PERJETA
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for pertuzumab

Injectable solution
1

Pertuzumab is a drug that’s used to treat metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). It is also used as a neoadjuvant breast cancer treatment. This means it is given before another, main treatment.

2

Pertuzumab is given by intravenous (IV) infusion. This drug will be given by your healthcare provider in a clinic or hospital.

3

Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, rash, hair loss, or nerve pain.

4

Pertuzumab may cause infusion-related reactions. These can include fever, chills, tiredness, weakness, headache, or vomiting.

5

You shouldn’t use this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Pertuzumab can cause birth defects or death in your unborn child.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Heart failure warning. Pertuzumab may cause heart failure. Your doctor will monitor how well your heart is pumping blood. If your heart doesn’t pump blood well, your doctor may stop treatment with pertuzumab.

Pregnancy warning. Pertuzumab can cause death and birth defects in your unborn child. Don’t take this drug if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you’re a woman of childbearing age, you should use effective birth control methods while taking this drug and for 6 months after your last dose. If you become pregnant while taking pertuzumab, tell your doctor at once. Report your pregnancy to the Genentech Adverse Event Line right away. You should also enroll in the MotHER Pregnancy Registry. Your doctor can tell you more.

Risk of infusion reactions

Pertuzumab may cause infusion-related reactions such as fever, chills, tiredness, weakness, headache, and vomiting. Your doctor will watch you for these reactions for 60 minutes after your first infusion and for 30 minutes after each following infusion. Your doctor may slow or stop treatment with this medication if you have severe reactions.

Heart problems

Pertuzumab may cause heart failure.

What is pertuzumab?

Pertuzumab is a prescription drug. It is available as an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

Pertuzumab may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Pertuzumab is used to treat metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of your body). This type of cancer affects a protein in your body called HER2.

More Details

How it works

Pertuzumab belongs to a class of drugs called HER2/neu receptor antagonists. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

Why it's used

Pertuzumab is used to treat metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of your body). This type of cancer affects a protein in your body called HER2. This drug is used for people who haven’t been treated with other anti-HER2 drugs or chemotherapy. It’s also used in combination with other cancer drugs.

Pertuzumab is also used to treat early stages of breast cancer. It affects a protein in your body called HER2. It’s given before your main cancer treatment. The drug is used in combination with other cancer drugs.

How it works

Pertuzumab belongs to a class of drugs called HER2/neu receptor antagonists. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They are often used to treat similar conditions.

Pertuzumab blocks a protein in your body called HER2 to help kill and stop the growth of cancerous cells.

When used to treat early breast cancer, this drug helps to shrink the tumor so that it can be surgically removed.

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SECTION 2 of 5

pertuzumab Side Effects

Injectable solution

Most Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with pertuzumab include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • tiredness

  • rash

  • hair loss

  • nerve pain

  • low blood cell counts

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • Heart problems: Symptoms include:

    • swollen parts of the body (fluid retention)
    • weight gain
    • shortness of breath
    • racing heartbeat
    • trouble sleeping
    • tiredness
    • trouble concentrating
    • lightheadedness
  • Infusion-related reactions. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • chills
    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • headache
    • vomiting
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Pertuzumab may cause drowsiness. Tiredness is a common side effect of the medication.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

pertuzumab May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Pertuzumab can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re taking.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Pertuzumab warnings
heart problems
People with heart problems

Pertuzumab may make your heart disease worse.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Pertuzumab is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies show a risk of adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. The benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy may outweigh the potential risks in certain cases.

Pertuzumab can cause death and birth defects in your unborn child.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Pertuzumab should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

If you’re pregnant or become pregnant while taking pertuzumab, tell your doctor right away. Report your pregnancy to the Genentech Adverse Event Line right away. You should also enroll in the MotHER Pregnancy Registry.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if pertuzumab passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll breastfeed or take pertuzumab.

children
For children

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

allergies
Allergies

Pertuzumab can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take pertuzumab (Dosage)

Injectable solution

Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Pertuzumab comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

If you don’t take pertuzumab as prescribed by your doctor, your breast cancer may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. You are at a higher risk for developing the more common side effects caused by the drug. These include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • alopecia (hair loss)
  • rash
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • peripheral neuropathy (nerve problems in your hands or feet)

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, call your doctor right away to reschedule your treatment.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor will do tests to see how your breast cancer is responding to the drug.

Pertuzumab can be a short-term or long-term drug treatment, as determined by your doctor.

How long does it take?

It may take 30–60 minutes to receive your dose of pertuzumab. Your doctor may watch you for side effects for an additional 30–60 minutes after each infusion.

Can I drive home after?

You may need a ride home or help leaving the doctor’s office. Tiredness is a common side effect of pertuzumab.

Travel

Pertuzumab is given once every 3 weeks, as part of a combination treatment cycle. It is given in a doctor’s office. Talk to your doctor first if you plan to travel. You may need to work your travel plans around your pertuzumab treatments.

Your doctor may do additional tests

To make sure that pertuzumab is right for you, your doctor may do a test to check if your cancer affects the HER2 receptor.

Clinical monitoring

  • Your doctor may need to monitor you for side effects for 30–60 minutes after each infusion. They may slow or stop treatment with pertuzumab if you have severe reactions.
  • Your doctor will monitor how well your heart is pumping blood before and during treatment with pertuzumab. If your heart doesn’t pump blood well, your doctor may stop the treatment.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for pertuzumab.

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How Much Does pertuzumab Cost?

Injectable solution

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Lowest price for pertuzumab

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for pertuzumab on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 20, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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