Pertuzumab (Perjeta)

The basics

Pertuzumab (brand name-Perjeta) is an FDA-approved treatment used along with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel (Taxotere) for breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used before and after surgery along with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and other chemotherapy medications to treat certain types of early stage breast cancer.

Pertuzumab injection is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about pertuzumab.

How should I take pertuzumab (Perjeta)?

Patient getting IV chemotherapy

Pertuzumab is injected into a vein over a 30 to 60 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or medical facility. It is usually given every 3 weeks. The length of your treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication and the side effects that you experience.

Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you experience any of the following symptoms during or shortly after your infusion: shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, hives, rash, itching, fever, chills, tiredness, headache, weakness, vomiting, unusual taste in the mouth, or muscle pain.

Do not stop taking treatment without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of pertuzumab (Perjeta)?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • rapid heartbeat
  • dark urine
  • decreased amount of urine
  • stomach pain
  • seizures
  • hallucinations
  • muscle cramps and spasms

Pertuzumab injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving pertuzumab (Perjeta)

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

While you are on pertuzumab (Perjeta)

  • if you or your partner becomes pregnant while taking pertuzumab, call your doctor. It may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while taking pertuzumab.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving pertuzumab injection.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Call your doctor right away if you are unable to keep an appointment to receive a dose of pertuzumab injection.

How should I safely store and dispose of pertuzumab (Perjeta)

Your healthcare provider will store your medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Perjeta®

Last Revised – 06/22/2023, FDA updated-12/15/2018, SG

Pertuzumab injection may cause serious or life-threatening heart problems, including heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack or if you have or ever had high blood pressure, heart failure, an abnormal heart rhythm, or heart disease. Your doctor will check your heart function before and during your treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately: shortness of breath, cough, swelling of the ankles, legs, or face, rapid heartbeat, sudden weight gain, dizziness, or loss of consciousness.

Pertuzumab injection should not be used by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. There is a risk that pertuzumab will cause loss of the pregnancy or will cause the baby to be born with birth defects (physical problems that are present at birth). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You will need to have a pregnancy test before you receive this medication. You should use effective birth control during treatment with pertuzumab injection and for 7 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant during treatment with pertuzumab injection, or think you might be pregnant, call your doctor immediately.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain tests before and during your treatment to check your body’s response to pertuzumab injection.

Talk to your doctor about the risk of treatment with pertuzumab injection.

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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