October 10, 2015
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Perjeta Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Perjeta

Generic Name: pertuzumab (Pronunciation: per TOO zoo mab)

What is pertuzumab (Perjeta)?

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

Pertuzumab is used together with traztuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere) to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Pertuzumab is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.

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

What are the possible side effects of pertuzumab (Perjeta)?

Some people receiving a pertuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). 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 during the injection.

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.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or
  • anxiety, sweating, pale skin, severe shortness of breath, wheezing, gasping for breath, cough with foamy mucus, chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, diarrhea;
  • tired feeling;
  • dry skin, temporary hair loss;
  • mild rash or itching;
  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet; or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

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.

Read the Perjeta (pertuzumab) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about pertuzumab (Perjeta)?

Pertuzumab can cause birth defects or death to the unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant.

Before receiving pertuzumab, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, congestive heart failure, a history of heart attack, or any allergies or breathing problems. You may not be able to receive pertuzumab, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Some people receiving a pertuzumab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, weak, itchy, or short of breath during the injection.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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