1 What is Perjeta?

Brand: Perjeta

Generic: Pertuzumab

Perjeta injection is a monoclonal antibody used for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. This drug is used together with other cancer drugs such as docetaxel and trastuzumab, and only in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

This drug interferes with the growth of HER2 protein produced by some breast tumors. This drug is also used as part of a complete treatment regimen for early breast cancer before resection. This drug is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your healthcare professional.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Perjeta, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Studies in children regarding the correlation of age to the effects of pertuzumab injection have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of pertuzumab injection.

Risks to the fetus have been reported in studies of pregnant women but these may be outweighed by the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease. Infant risk is still undetermined when taking this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of this drug before breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs.

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as congestive heart failure.

3 Proper Usage

To use Perjeta properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Cancer drugs are very robust and can have many side effects.

Discuss with your healthcare professional about potential the risks and benefits of this drug before taking it. A trained healthcare professional will give you this drug.

This drug is administered intravenously through a needle placed in one of your veins once every 3 weeks.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Perjeta, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests.

This drug has teratogenic potential and it is recommended to use effective forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for at least 7 months after the last dose of this drug.

Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you think you have become pregnant while using this drug. Your healthcare professional will test your heart before you start treatment since this drug may cause heart failure. The test will be repeated every few months while you are receiving the drug.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of heart failure such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Abnormal swelling in your ankles or legs

Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of infusion reaction such as:

Seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you get the injection

Cancer drugs can cause nausea or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving drugs to prevent it. Ask your health care professional about other ways to control these side effects when they happen.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Perjeta. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Black, tarry stools burning
  • Numbness
  • Tingling, or painful sensations
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Itching or rash
  • Hoarseness
  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness or swelling
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Pale skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Troubled breathing or swallowing
  • Ulcers
  • Sores or white spots in the mouth
  • Unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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