Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Pertuzumab

People with a history of heart disease or congestive heart failure should let their healthcare provider know before beginning treatment with pertuzumab. This medication can cause potentially dangerous problems, such as heart problems and severe allergic reactions. Warnings and precautions with pertuzumab also apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people taking certain medications.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving pertuzumab (Perjeta™) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Pertuzumab Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • Medications similar to pertuzumab can increase your risk for heart problems, especially congestive heart failure. However, studies have shown that when pertuzumab was given in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel, it did not increase the risk for these heart problems, compared to giving trastuzumab and docetaxel without pertuzumab. Nonetheless, your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure you are not developing heart problems.
  • Pertuzumab can cause "infusion reactions," during a dose or just after a dose has been given. Some symptoms of an infusion reaction include:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Pain
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Rashes
    • Low blood pressure (hypotension).
Most of the time, infusion reactions are uncomfortable but not dangerous. However, severe allergic reactions can occur.
  • You must be tested to make sure that your cancer overexpresses HER2 (your cancer cells have a high concentration of the HER2 receptors). While HER2 testing may be expensive, pertuzumab cannot be prescribed without the test.
  • Pertuzumab is a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably unsafe for use during pregnancy, although sometimes the benefits may outweigh the risks. Talk to your healthcare provider before using this drug during pregnancy (see Perjeta and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if pertuzumab passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Perjeta and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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