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Pertuzumab (Perjeta): Breast Cancer Drug Side Effects & Interactions

What is pertuzumab? What is pertuzumab used for?

Pertuzumab is an intravenous drug that is used to
treat breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast (metastasized). It belongs
to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Other monoclonal antibodies
used for treating breast cancer include trastuzumab (Herceptin) and
ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla). The cells of cancers have various receptors
on their surfaces. Chemicals bind to these receptors and cause changes within
the cancer cells. One of the receptors that occurs in about one-third of all
breast cancers is called HER2. HER2 is known to control the growth and
development of the cancer cells and the production of new cancer cells. If HER2
receptors are present in large numbers on the cancer cells (often referred to as
overexpression of HER2), then the cancer cells may multiply and grow quickly.
Normally, the immune system produces antibodies that will detect and attack HER2
receptors to slow the growth of cancer cells However, if HER2 is present in
large amounts, the immune system may be unable to control HER2. Pertuzumab is a
man-made antibody developed using molecular cloning and recombinant DNA
technology. Pertuzumab is thought to block the HER2 receptors when there is
overexpression, thereby blocking growth of the cancer. The FDA approved
pertuzumab in June 2012.

What brand names are available for pertuzumab?


Is pertuzumab available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for pertuzumab?


What are the side effects of pertuzumab?

Common side effects of pertuzumab include:

Pertuzumab also causes heart failure, infusion reactions, and serious
allergic reactions. Treatment may also reduce the number of red blood cells
(anemia), and reduce the number of platelets and white blood cells. A reduced
number of white blood cells increases the risk for febrile neutropenia and


A lump in the breast is almost always cancer.
See Answer

What is the dosage for pertuzumab?

  • Pertuzumab is given by intravenous infusion only.
  • The initial recommended dose is 840 mg administered as a 60-minute
  • intravenous infusion, followed every 3 weeks thereafter by 420 mg
    administered as a 30 to 60 minute intravenous infusion.
  • Pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel should be administered by intravenous
    infusion every 3 weeks for metastatic breast cancer.
  • For neoadjuvant treatment, pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel should be
    administered by intravenous infusion preoperatively every 3 weeks for 3 to 6

Which drugs or supplements interact with pertuzumab?

The manufacturer has not identified any pertuzumab drug

Is pertuzumab safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pertuzumab can cause fetal harm when administered to
and should not be administered
during pregnancy.

It is not known whether trastuzumab is excreted in human
milk. Nursing mothers should decide whether to stop nursing or discontinue

What else should I know about pertuzumab?

What preparations of pertuzumab are available?

Solution for intravenous infusion: 420 mg/14 mL (30 mg/mL)
single-use vial

How should I keep pertuzumab stored?

Pertuzumab vials should be refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to
46 F) until it is used.

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