Yervoy

Generic Name: ipilimumab (IP i LIM ue mab)
Brand Names: Yervoy

What is Yervoy?

Yervoy (ipilimumab) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Yervoy is used to treat melanoma (skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery.

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

Important information

Before you receive Yervoy, tell your doctor if you have liver damage, an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or sarcoidosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or if you have received an organ transplant.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Yervoy. Serious and sometimes fatal reactions may occur during treatment with Yervoy or months after stopping. Contact your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as:

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

  • diarrhea, increased bowel movements, black or bloody stools, stomach tenderness;

  • pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), easy bruising or bleeding;

  • unusual muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;

  • unusual headaches, feeling cold or tired, weight gain, dizzy spells, mood changes, irritability, confusion;

  • mouth sores, skin rash with or without itching, blistering or peeling, skin sores with bleeding; or

  • eye pain, or vision problems.

Before receiving Yervoy

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

To make sure you can safely receive Yervoy, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver damage (caused by disease or by using certain medicines);

  • an autoimmune disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or sarcoidosis;

  • Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis; or

  • if you have received an organ transplant.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Yervoy will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

In animal studies, Yervoy caused stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight, miscarriage in the third trimester, and infant death. However, very high doses are used in animal studies. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using doses recommended for human use. Ask your doctor about your individual risk.

It is not known whether ipilimumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving Yervoy.

How is Yervoy given?

Yervoy is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Yervoy must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take about 90 minutes to complete.

Yervoy is usually given every 3 weeks for up to 4 doses. Follow your doctor's instructions.

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

To make sure Yervoy is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid?

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

Yervoy side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Yervoy: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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

  • diarrhea, increased bowel movements, black or bloody stools, stomach tenderness;

  • pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), easy bruising or bleeding;

  • unusual muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;

  • unusual headaches, feeling cold or tired, weight gain, dizzy spells, mood changes, irritability, confusion;

  • mouth sores, skin rash with or without itching, blistering or peeling, skin sores with bleeding; or

  • eye pain, or vision problems.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • severe stomach pain, bloating, constipation, or vomiting;

  • loss of bowel control;

  • trouble with daily activities;

  • heavy sweating, hot and dry skin, feeling very thirsty or hot;

  • little or no urinating;

  • severe upper stomach pain spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;

  • fever, cough, trouble breathing; or

  • chest pain, feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain.

Less serious Yervoy side effects may include:

  • tired feeling;

  • diarrhea; or

  • mild skin rash or itching.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Yervoy?

Other drugs may interact with Yervoy, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Yervoy.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Yervoy only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01. Revision Date: 2014-06-20, 12:49:24 PM.

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