Perjeta Warnings and Precautions

To help reduce your risk for developing potentially dangerous complications, your healthcare provider will need to know if you have any heart problems (like congestive heart failure or heart disease) before giving you Perjeta. Warnings with this medicine include safety precautions for people who are using certain medications or who have certain allergies. Also, there are potential risks for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving Perjeta™ (pertuzumab) 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 Precautions and Warnings With Perjeta

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
 
  • Medications similar to Perjeta can increase your risk for heart problems, especially congestive heart failure. However, studies have shown that when Perjeta 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 Perjeta. Nonetheless, your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure you are not developing heart problems.
 
  • Perjeta can cause "infusion reactions," during or just after a dose of Perjeta. 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, Perjeta cannot be prescribed without the test.
 
 
  • Perjeta 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 Perjeta 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).
 
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