Breast Cancer Home > Perjeta and Pregnancy

When given to pregnant monkeys, Perjeta (pertuzumab) appeared to increase the risk for low amniotic fluid, delayed kidney development, and death of the embryo or fetus. Due to the potentially dangerous risks, this drug is classified as a pregnancy Category D medicine, meaning it is generally not recommended for use during pregnancy. However, a healthcare provider may prescribe it if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Use Perjeta?

Perjeta™ (pertuzumab) is generally considered unsafe for women who are pregnant. In animal studies that looked at the effects of using Perjeta during pregnancy, the drug caused significant problems.

What Is Pregnancy Category D?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Perjeta is classified as a pregnancy Category D medication.
Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents. A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to her unborn child.
Perjeta appears to increase the risk of low amniotic fluid, delayed kidney development, and death of the embryo or fetus in monkeys.
Dealing with and treating cancer in pregnant women is a difficult situation, often without any clear answers. Your healthcare provider can help you think through the various treatment options you may have. Women who use this drug during pregnancy should be monitored for low amniotic fluid.
Before you start Perjeta, your healthcare provider should make sure you are not pregnant. If you are pregnant but you and your healthcare provider still want to use Perjeta, it is important that you fully understand the risks.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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