Herceptin and Perjeta

Hi guys


I know there have been a few of these posts but I have a more specific question regarding the side effects of Herceptin and mostly Perjeta in relation to hair loss. Everything that comes up on Google says there will be total hair loss with these drugs but that this is because of the taxol it’s given alongside.


I’m 3 weeks into paclitaxel and I’m beginning (beginning!) to hold some hope that the scalp cooling cap is working for me. I’ve experienced minimal hair loss and was told if there’s be shedding, it’d be apparent by now.


I’m due to start herceptin and perjeta next week, all being well with the cardiologist (I have a weak LVEF and am on beta blockers and ace inhibitors to beef my heart up in prep for the herceptin) and from what I’d originally understood, I was only getting herceptin, but now perjeta has been mentioned as well. I don’t really know much about this drug but Google says it causes hair loss. However I’m wondering if that is indeed the perjeta itself or the fact it’s administered alongside the paclitaxel (which so far seems to be responding well to the scalp cooling). I have just about got my head around the fact I might not lose my hair from the taxol but I’m now terrified these two new drugs are going to come along and sabotage it all!


Of course losing hair is a small price to pay but it’s just taken me by surprise a bit as I’d always assumed it was just the taxol causing hair loss but now I’m worried. Plus the fact that perjeta was never really mentioned til recently so it’s another new drug which wasn’t on my radar for treatment.


Can anyone shed any light at all?


Thank you!! 

Hi. Vaneysha,

I had 8 cycles of FEC T beginning in February and my hair thinned so much after the first one that i shaved the rest off. I finished the chemotherapy mid August and my hair is growing back nicely, it isn’t long yet but it’s very thick so I’m happy that it will be ok. I had Herceptin and Pertuzumab alongside the last 4 rounds of Docetaxal and am now having them by iv every 3 weeks so that I’ll have had 18 in all. I’ve had 2 of the infusions so far and it may be that’s it’s slowing my hair growth but on their own it’s certainly not causing it to fall out. I have questioned the list of side effects for these 2 drugs as in writing they match those of chemotherapy, but so far I’m not suffering anything like I did on chemo, maybe a little achy, headaches for a couple of days, a little tired but I’ve been having radiotherapy alongside so it will be that too, and one very impressive bout of sickness and diarrhoea! All in all though I’m very happy and consider myself very lucky to be receiving this treatment, after this rather long post I wish you all the best with your ongoing treatment and will keep my fingers crossed for you that like me the Pertuzumab won’t have any effect on your hair.

Hi. I had 12 weeks of Paclitaxel along with Herceptin though not perjeta.

I chose not to cold cap and didn’t lose any hair until about day 25. Then it started to shed and I shaved it leaving a light stubble. I greatly regret that now because it never fell out. I reckon I kept a good 80%  of my hair which started growing again straight away. I finished the Taxol last week and have had 4 Herceptins and my hair has grown about 1cm.

Hi Vaneysha

I am having IV H & P. I have had 15 so far, 2 more to go. I had first 3 with Taxotere (chemo). My hair fell out with FEC but started to grow back with Taxotere and has continued to grow with H&P. My profile pic is my hair now. I finished chemo last April. I’ve found it really difficult to get conclusive side effects of h&p without chemo. I sometimes feel a little off, slightly woozy on the day I have it but fine the next day. I have had various aches & pains throughout but all fairly manageable. It’s so difficult to know if it’s left over chemo/surgery/radiotherapy stuff or the targeted treatment. It’s nothing like the scale of chemo though! Good luck with it xx


My onc told me that with herceptin and perjeta you dnt loos your hair. I have not started the treatment yet but he has told me only chemo makes the hair fall out. 

Maybe the hair gets thinner. I’m not sure yet. 

Not enough information given on leaflets or Internet. We can only go on what our sisters say on this forum. 

Who else. Has had these tow drugs has the hair fallen out? Do tumours shrink with herceptin?