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Pronunciation: IP i LIM ue mab

Brand: Yervoy

What is the most important information I should know about ipilimumab?

Serious and sometimes fatal reactions may occur during treatment with ipilimumab, or months after stopping. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, bloody or tarry stools, decreased urination, dark urine, yellowing of your skin or eyes, skin peeling or rash, neck stiffness, confusion, mood or behavior changes, hallucinations, vision problems, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

What is ipilimumab?

Ipilimumab is a cancer medicine that is used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat certain types of cancer such as:

  • skin cancer (melanoma);
  • non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC);
  • kidney cancer;
  • liver cancer; or
  • colorectal cancer that has certain specific DNA mutations.

Ipilimumab is often used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic) or when other medicines have not been effective.

Ipilimumab may prevent melanoma from coming back after surgery, including lymph node removal surgery.

Ipilimumab is given for NSCLC only if your tumor tests positive for "PD-L1" and does not have an abnormal "EGFR" or "ALK" (a specific genetic marker).

Ipilimumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving ipilimumab?

You should not receive ipilimumab if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver problems;
  • an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or sarcoidosis;
  • Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis; or
  • an organ transplant or stem cell transplant.

Ipilimumab may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 3 months after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of ipilimumab on the baby.

You should not breastfeed while you are receiving ipilimumab and for at least 3 months after your last dose.

Ipilimumab is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old. For some types of cancer, ipilimumab is used only in adults.

How is ipilimumab given?

Ipilimumab is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

This medicine must be given slowly, and the infusion can take up to 90 minutes to complete.

Ipilimumab is usually given once every 3 to 6 weeks. Your other cancer medications may be given more often. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with all medicines.

You may be given other medications to treat or prevent certain side effects.

You may need frequent medical tests to be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your ipilimumab injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since ipilimumab is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving ipilimumab?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of ipilimumab?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Some side effects may occur during the injection. Tell your caregiver if you feel dizzy, itchy, warm, tingly, feverish, chilled, or light-headed.

Serious and sometimes fatal reactions may occur during treatment with ipilimumab or months after stopping. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as:

  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, bloody or tarry stools;
  • muscle weakness, numbness or tingling;
  • new or worsening cough, chest pain, shortness of breath;
  • vision problems, eye pain or redness;
  • kidney problems --little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, blood in your urine;
  • liver problems --right-sided upper stomach pain, tiredness, bruising or bleeding, dark urine, yellowing of your skin or eyes;
  • thyroid problems --unusual headaches, feeling cold or tired, weight gain, mood changes, dizziness, fainting; or
  • inflammation of the brain --headache, neck stiffness, drowsiness, fever, confusion, hallucinations, or a seizure.

Your cancer treatments may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, cough, shortness of breath;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • weight loss;
  • rash or itching;
  • headache, dizziness, tiredness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • pain in your muscles, joints, or bones.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect ipilimumab?

Other drugs may affect ipilimumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about ipilimumab.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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