Pembrolizumab

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Keytruda

Brand Names: Canada

Keytruda

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat a type of lymphoma.
  • If your child has been given this drug for some other reason, talk with the doctor about the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions or concerns about giving this drug to your child.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child is taking any of these drugs: Lenalidomide, pomalidomide, or thalidomide.

If your child is breast-feeding a baby:

  • Be sure your child does not breast-feed a baby while taking this drug and for 4 months after the last dose.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.

Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may cause very bad side effects. Sometimes these have been life-threatening or deadly. These may happen in the lungs, bowels, liver, kidney, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, or other parts of the body. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor. This drug can raise blood sugar.
  • Have your child’s blood sugar checked as you have been told by your child’s doctor.
  • Infusion reactions have happened with this drug. Sometimes, these could be very bad or life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
  • If your child is having or has had a stem cell transplant with stem cells from someone else (allogeneic), talk with your child’s doctor. Some problems with these types of stem cell transplants have happened in people who have had this drug. These problems can be very bad and can lead to death.
  • If your child has had an organ transplant, talk with your child’s doctor. This drug may raise the chance of organ transplant rejection.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • Have your child use birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug and for 4 months after stopping this drug.

If your child is pregnant:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy.
  • If your child gets pregnant while taking this drug or within 4 months after her last dose, call the doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s 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 child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has 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, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • 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 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 thyroid, pituitary, or adrenal gland problems. Some signs may be change in mood or the way you act, change in weight, constipation, deeper voice, dizziness, fainting, feeling cold, feeling very tired, hair loss, headache that lasts or is very bad, or lowered interest in sex.
  • 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 electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
  • Signs of a brain problem like change in balance, feeling confused, fever, memory problems, muscle weakness, seizures, stiff neck, or very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Very bad joint pain.
  • Very bad muscle pain or weakness.
  • Swollen gland.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Flushing.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • White patches on the skin.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

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 child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Bone pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not hungry.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Belly pain.
  • Headache.
  • Back pain.
  • Weight loss.
  • Hair loss.
  • Change in taste.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Signs of a common cold.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s 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 my child misses a dose?

  • Call your child’s 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 child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child 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.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • 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

2018-07-18

Copyright

© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Last Updated