Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

The basics

Ipilimumab (brand name-Yervoy) is an FDA-approved treatment for melanoma in adults and children 12 years of age and older that cannot be treated with surgery or has spread to other body parts. It is also combined with nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC; a type of cancer that begins in the cells of the kidneys), cancers of the large intestine, liver, and lung.

Ipilimumab injection is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by helping the body to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about ipilimumab.

How should I take ipilimumab (Yervoy)?

Ipilimumab injection comes as a liquid to be injected into a vein by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or medical facility.

Patient getting IV chemotherapy

Ipilimumab injection may cause serious or life-threatening reactions during an infusion. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms that may occur during the infusion: chills or shaking, itching, rash, flushing, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fever, or feeling faint.

You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.

Do not stop taking ipilmumab without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of Ipilimumab?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • decreased urination
  • blood in urine
  • bloody or black, tarry, sticky stools
  • severe stomach pain or tenderness
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • confusion, memory problems, hallucinations, seizures, or stiff neck
  • increased urination
  • Rapid heartbeat, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, or sweating
  • dizziness, irritability, forgetfulness, decreased sex drive, or depression
  • dark (tea-colored) urine
  • easy bruising or bleeding
  • Blurred vision, double vision, eye pain or redness, or other vision problems

Ipilimumab injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are receiving this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving ipilimumab

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor if you have ever had any other disease or symptom
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you.

While you are on ipilimumab

  • If you become pregnant while receiving ipilimumab injection, call your doctor immediately. Ipilimumab injection may harm the fetus.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while receiving ipilimumab injection and for 3 months after your final dose.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Yervoy®

Last Revised – 06/14/2023, FDA updated-11/15/2020, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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