Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Diarrhea: Pertuzumab may cause severe diarrhea. Your doctor may recommend that you keep a medication available to use in the event that you develop severe diarrhea. Because diarrhea can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause other medical problems, it is important to prevent or stop the diarrhea as soon as possible.
Heart problems: This medication may worsen symptoms of heart disease. It can cause the heart to become less effective at pumping the blood through your body. This may be more likely to occur if you have previously been treated with any of the medications in the family known as anthracyclines (e.g., doxorubicin, epirubicin).
If you have heart disease such as angina, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmia, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect the medical condition, how the medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you develop symptoms of heart problems such as shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, or swollen ankles.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people who have contagious infections and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills.
Infusion reactions: This medication can cause a hypersensitivity or infusion reaction. Symptoms of this type of reaction generally appear during the infusion of the medication and may include flushing, chest pain, shortness of breath and a dramatic drop in blood pressure. These reactions can cause death if a health care provider is not informed immediately. If you experience any of these symptoms, or notice them happening to someone, let your nurse or doctor know immediately.
Kidney function: This medication has not been studied for use by people with decreased kidney function. If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: This medication has not been studied for use by people with decreased liver function. If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Women who are of child-bearing age and their partners should use birth control while either partner is using this medication and for 7 months after the last dose. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if pertuzumab passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.