Ipilimumab

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Yervoy

Brand Names: Canada

Yervoy

Warning

  • This drug may cause very bad and sometimes deadly side effects. These side effects may happen anywhere in the body. Most of the time, they happen in the bowels, liver, skin, and nerves. They may also affect organs that change hormone levels in the body. Side effects that happen in the nerves can lead to not being able to move a part of the body (paralysis). Most of the time, these side effects have happened during the use of this drug but sometimes have happened weeks to months after this drug was stopped. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of bowel problems like black, tarry, or bloody stools; fever; mucus in the stools; throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; very bad belly pain; or very bad hard stools (constipation) or loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Signs of hormone problems like change in how you act, dizziness or passing out, feeling cold all the time, feeling sluggish, lowered interest in sex, memory problems, mood changes, very bad headache, weight gain.
  • Signs of a very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Signs of nerve problems like a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal; weakness; or not being able to move a part of the body (paralysis).

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat a type of skin cancer (melanoma).

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to ipilimumab or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug or for 3 months after your last dose.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This drug may be used with another drug called nivolumab. Some side effects that can happen may happen more often if this drug is used with nivolumab, If you are also using nivolumab, talk with your doctor about the risks and side effects that may happen.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 3 months after care ends.
  • If you get pregnant while taking this drug or within 3 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Change in bowel habits.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not hungry.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Weight loss.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2016-07-01

Copyright

© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.