Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Yervoy
Therapeutic ClassificationsAntineoplastic Agent
Pharmacologic ClassificationsMonoclonal Antibody
Ipilimumab can result in severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions. Reactions may involve any organ system and manifest during treatment or weeks to months after discontinuation. The most common severe reactions are enterocolitis, hepatitis, dermatitis (including toxic epidermal necrolysis), neuropathy, and endocrinopathy. Assess patients for signs and symptoms of severe reactions and evaluate clinical chemistries (eg, liver function tests, adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, thyroid function tests) at baseline and before each dose. Permanently discontinue ipilimumab and initiate systemic high-dose corticosteroid therapy for severe immune-mediated reactions .
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Ipilimumab injection is used to treat melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. It is a monoclonal antibody that changes the immune system to help control the growth of cancer cells in the skin.
Ipilimumab injection is also used to help prevent melanoma from coming back after surgical removal.
Ipilimumab injection is also used in combination with other medicines (eg, nivolumab) to treat patients with previously untreated kidney cancer that has spread throughout the body.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. It must be given slowly, so the needle will have to remain in place for at least 30 to 90 minutes.
This medicine is usually given every 3 weeks for a total of 4 doses. Your doctor may adjust how often you will receive this medicine or how long the infusion will take.
This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ipilimumab injection in children 12 years of age and older. Safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 12 years of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ipilimumab injection in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical ProblemsTOP
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Adrenal gland problem or
- Allergic skin reactions (eg, dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis), severe or
- Colitis (inflammation of the bowel) or
- Eye or vision problems (eg, episcleritis, iritis, uveitis) or
- Guillain-Barré syndrome or
- Hemolytic anemia (blood disorder) or
- Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) or
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
- Hypopituitarism (low levels of pituitary hormone) or
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or
- Intestinal or bowel perforation (a hole in the bowel) or
- Meningitis (inflammation of the brain) or
- Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness) or
- Nephritis (inflammation of the kidney) or
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the heart) or
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve problem in the arms and legs) or
- Pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Receiving this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for 3 months after your last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while receiving the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Colitis (inflammation of the colon) may occur with this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or tenderness, watery or bloody diarrhea, or a fever after receiving the medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are receiving this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you are having unusual weakness of the arms or legs, or a burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensation in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a serious nerve problem that can lead to paralysis.
Serious problems with the adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid glands (hormone glands) may occur while you are receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor if you start having continuing or unusual headaches, changes in mood or behavior (eg, being irritable or forgetful), lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, unusual sluggishness, or an increase in weight.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs while you are receiving this medicine. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
This medicine may increase the risk for other problems caused by the immune system, including pneumonitis (swelling of the lungs), nephritis (kidney problem), or encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Check with your doctor if you have the following problems: chest pain, thickening of bronchial secretions, troubled breathing, bloody or cloudy urine, unusual tiredness or weakness, nausea, vomiting, unusual weight gain, swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs, confusion, irritability, headache, seizures, or stiff neck.
This medicine may cause infusion-related reactions, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you start to have a fever, chills or shaking, dizziness, trouble breathing, itching or rash, lightheadedness or fainting after receiving this medicine.