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User Reviews for Pembrolizumab

Also known as: Keytruda

Pembrolizumab has an average rating of 4.1 out of 10 from a total of 129 ratings on Drugs.com. 31% of those users who reviewed Pembrolizumab reported a positive effect, while 62% reported a negative effect.

Condition Avg. Rating Reviews Compare
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer  
3.5
70 reviews 45 medications
Melanoma, Metastatic  
6.7
15 reviews 14 medications
Head and Neck Cancer  
6.8
9 reviews 7 medications
Melanoma  
2.5
6 reviews 9 medications
Solid Tumors  
4.8
6 reviews 12 medications
Urothelial Carcinoma  
1.0
5 reviews 8 medications
Gastric Cancer  
1.0
4 reviews 9 medications
Esophageal Carcinoma  
4.0
3 reviews 8 medications
Hepatocellular Carcinoma  
1.0
2 reviews 9 medications
Cervical Cancer  
1.0
2 reviews 10 medications
Endometrial Cancer  
7.5
2 reviews 9 medications
Colorectal Cancer  
8.0
2 reviews 22 medications
Hodgkin's Lymphoma  
10.0
1 reviews 24 medications
Merkel Cell Carcinoma  
10.0
1 reviews 2 medications
Breast Cancer  
1.0
1 reviews 74 medications
Summary of Pembrolizumab reviews 4.1 129 reviews

Reviews may be moderated or edited before publication to correct grammar and spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest in the medication will not be published. As reviews and ratings are subjective and self-reported, this information should not be used as the basis for any statistical analysis or scientific studies.

Reviews for Pembrolizumab

Frankjw · Taken for 1 to 2 years May 23, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Esophageal Carcinoma: “I was diagnosed with EC in Feb 2019. I did the Flot4 treatment for 3 months then I had the ivor Lewis surgery. I was offered keytruda after surgery but chose to not do this. At the time after the surgery I had no more cancer but 9 months later the cancer metastasized to my brain which is extremely rare. After my surgery to remove that tumor and 3 quick rounds of radiation I chose to do keytruda. I believe in my heart of hearts if I went on it after my ivor Lewis surgery then it would not had metastasized. I have been using it now for just over a year, with very few side effects. My advise though is to exercise so the fatigue does not take over. The treatments are simple and only last 30 minutes. I would not use it as a primary treatment for EC. Best is surgery then if offered keytruda.”

10 / 10
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kmh1967 · Taken for 1 to 6 months May 22, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Urothelial Carcinoma: “My father was diagnosed August 2020 with urothelial cancer. Had left nephrectomy and uretorectomy in Sept 2020. Wasn't a candidate for traditional chemotherapy for age and other health issues. Started Keytruda February 24th. 2nd treatment was March 24. April 9th we were in the emergency room with him having large blood clots in his leg. May 5th he is worse, not walking low blood pressure and severe pain. Put in hospice and now gone on May 20th. I will regret forever talking him into trying it.”

1 / 10
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A Adams · Taken for less than 1 month May 13, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Melanoma: “My father got his first dose of Keytruda 3 weeks ago and he has been in ICU ever since. It started with a mole!! He was fine otherwise. Now he can not breathe, it’s damaged his lungs and ALL of his muscles! At this moment he has a feeding tube and they just gave him a tracheotomy to help his lungs. He can’t talk or even hold his head up! This is just awful! Plz don’t use this drug! I would rate it a zero”

1 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

so far April 22, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My heart goes out to all affected by cancer, patients, families, friends and providers. We are all very different genetically & there's no "One Cure". My Husb was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer the Thurs. before Thanksgiving 2019. By Christmas he had radiation for 15 days followed by an evaluation for chemo. After blood work & consultation, he decided on Keytruda, chemo not an option. Had treatment once a week, then every two weeks, once a month and now every six weeks. As of now he has improved in the sense that the cancer is not growing, yes it shrunk a bit but he will never be cancer free it has compromised his spine, but he's here now and goes to work every day (UPS) and has never had to take the day off due to complications from the treatment (some nausea). I don't know what tomorrow brings regarding the medication, his cancer or life but I thought 2019 was the last year he would be with us, Today I am grateful for Keytruda. Best wishes to everyone struggling with cancer.”

9 / 10
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lindatrimm March 21, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My father is in ICU, he asked me to share this with you . He has had COPD, recently he got a spot on his lung but otherwise he was strong, though overweight. After his 3rd Keytruda treatment everything went wrong. He lost his voice, kept feeling "particles" in his nose and mouth, didn't sleep for over a week, feet swelled up like footballs, and awful coughing. The doctor said he had a lung infection and sent him home with antibiotics and Lasix. No effect, swelled up even more. He stopped going to the bathroom... both. He could barely walk and we had to lift each leg into our suv, and pull them out one at a time when we got to hospital. Liver & kidneys shutting down, still can not talk, only whisper.. he's dying. He agreed to do this because they said it uses your immune system and my father has a very strong immune system. He assumed that Keytruda would use his already good immune system to beat the cancer.”

1 / 10
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Cowboy January 31, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “Frustrated beyond words. My husband had his first treatment of Keytruda on a Friday morning at which time his Oxygen levels were normal. Within a couple of hours he had chills and a fever (to be expected), however I took him to the hospital the next morning because his fever was 101.3 (which I thought was too high). Upon admission, his Oxygen was 88 and they were alarmed and he's been in ever since. He's now on High Flow Oxygen @ 98.9% and 25 Liters. They are denying it's the Keytruda and says it wasn't in his body long enough which I don't believe at all. They keep saying it's a VIRUS. At one point, his oxygen line broke and he tanked to 39%. And they didn't put him in ICU (go figure). They still to this day don't believe it's the Keytruda but we are 100% confident it's the drug. I just want them to admit it -- we knew the risks but we were sold on "hardly anyone has side effects". I'm beside myself upset !!! I just want the Doctors to be honest.”

1 / 10
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Texan · Taken for 1 to 2 years September 19, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “In the 18 months after my lung tumor was found I had platinum based chemo, surgery to remove part of my lung, proton beam radiation, gamma knife surgery, and oral chemo med Iressa. Nothing helped, the cancer spread and I had mets to brain and bones. Bone mets so bad that my femur spontaneously fractured. My docs did not initially offer Keytruda because my tumors carried the EGFR mutation. But I did have high PDL1 (80%), so when nothing else worked we tried it. After 2 years of treatment every 3 weeks I had no evidence of disease, and remain NED one year after stopping treatment. Side effects were extreme fatigue, headaches, sweats; I still have these. But I am enjoying life and sure that Keytruda saved my life.”

9 / 10
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More FAQ

Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 30, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “I believe my Father died because of Keytruda. Prior to treatment he was asymptomatic and active. No cough and never has been on oxygen. After first treatment he was never the same. He was gone in less than 3 months and spent his final 2 months of life in the ICU on a ventilator. Keytruda induced Guillian-Barre was his diagnosis. Your doctor will minimize the side effects of this drug and no one is being held accountable. Do your research before proceeding or allowing your loved one to use this drug. You don't get a second chance.”

1 / 10
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Anonymous October 25, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “1 treatment and 2 weeks later he was gone. Horrible swelling, unable to focus, couldn't eat, couldn't walk, before treatment was doing ok. This took him out really fast went from functional to non functional after 1 treatment. Thought this medication would help instead it only sped up his death.”

1 / 10
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MrZ · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 22, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My Keytruda experience is entirely positive. I only wish and hope it helps others like it helped me. Male, 70. My 5cm inoperable lung tumor discovered about a year ago shrank to smaller than 1 mm in size after 3 Keytruda infusions. No side effects. Never stopped riding my bike to the gym. Only stopped 2 days before the surgery. Lobectomy followed. Few weeks later I was told by the surgeon and my oncologist that I don’t have cancer anymore.”

10 / 10
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Missinghome · Taken for less than 1 month December 1, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “I'm going to be brutally honest here. If you are not ready to give up the fight for lifethen STAY AWAY from this drug. My grandpa was walking, talking, cooking meals and within 4 days of treatment was literally LIFELESS!!! I will NEVER tell anyone this is a good and/or safe drug. I would give Keytruda a 0 if I could.”

1 / 10
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ToyaRuck · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 24, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My father was diagnosed with NSCLC July 2018. We were told he was not eligible for chemotherapy and that Keytruda was his best option. My father had his first treatment 1 week later and 2 weeks after treatment he presented to the ER with weakness, severe shortness of breath, restlessness. He was admitted for pericardial effusion. He had his 2nd treatment and 1 week later he went back to the ER with severe shortness of breath, loss of appetite, at this point he had lost weight and admitted for pneumonitis and hypoxemia. My father's health declined so rapidly after taking this medication within a months time. After his 2nd hospitalization his quality of life was minimum to none; was a total assist as he could not do anything for himself. He was placed on hospice 1-2 weeks after his last hospitalization and passed away 1-2 weeks after being placed on hospice. My family and I were given false hope regarding this medication and it killed my father and stole what time we had left with him.”

1 / 10
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MichaelN May 5, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “I was diagnosed with lung cancer on January 27th. Later a brain scan revealed seven brain lesions for which I have been treated Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). Before January 27th I experienced arrhythmia fairly regularly anywhere from every two weeks to at least once a month. After my first infusion, my arrhythmia has occurred daily lasting anywhere from 4 to 12 hours which debilitates me often leaving me very weak. (Last week my cardiologist gave me a more powerful anti-arrhythmia prescription, but to no effect.) I also experience a persistent dry cough which sometimes makes talking difficult. There is also shortness of breath. And since my second infusion 2 weeks ago occasional neuropathy in my feet. My daily quality of life seems worse than the disease, although the latter's outcome is assured. So I ask myself, two years of feeling like this daily? No way. And at what point is quality of life to be sacrificed for treatment? Of course it's an individual assessment. Nevertheless - your thoughts?”

1 / 10
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My mom August 6, 2018

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “So last April my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Turns out she was a candidate for keytruda. Her first treatment she became very ill. Ended up in ICU for low sodium. It was bad. She was very ill and was going to stop the treatments. We and the doctor talked her into continuing and honestly she's done amazing with it. The cancer has shrunk. You would never know my mom has cancer. 1.5 yrs later and still doing everything she did years ago. I'm sorry it hasn't worked for everyone but it truly is a miracle drug for some. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the extra time with my mother.”

9 / 10
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MIssingmyhusband · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 26, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “I believe Keytruda killed my husband. Period. He was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer/brain cancer June 2017 and passed away in September 2017. He did not die of the brain cancer, he was still choosing to work, functioning, but days before he died he had several unusual things happen. He went to the Dr. and died that evening from what I believe was heart failure. It was sudden, unexpected. He had 2 series of Keytruda, 3 weeks apart. I believe the "cure is worse than the cause". Caution to anyone who believes this is miracle drug. It is not.”

1 / 10
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Broken-hearted · Taken for less than 1 month February 7, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Head and Neck Cancer: “After my husband lived through 3 separate squamous cell mouth cancers, the 4th recurred. Was advised by drs 5 weeks twice a day Proton therapy and once every 3 wks Keytruda. Two weeks after receiving Keytruda, his beautiful (non-smoking) lungs were chemically burned from Keytruda. They treated him with high dose of steroids and said he would have to be on them at least, if not more, for 1 year. it was explained steroids at this dosage carried high side effects such as badly damaging kidneys and other organs. My husband chose death. Told me if I ever get diagnosed with cancer, just let it take me. Said it’s not worth the treatment, which is what really finishes you off. Ironically, 2 weeks later a friend also died from Keytruda after badly damaging his lungs too. You don’t realize you are the test subject for these drug companies. Beware of this drug!”

1 / 10
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boppy · Taken for 6 months to 1 year December 19, 2018

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “After chemo and radiation treatments I was given six months. My Dr. got me into a keytruda study. After eleven months of keytruda treatments I am considered in remission. I write this because I debated taking keytruda because of the bad reviews. So sorry for the people that didn't have good results, but keytruda was a blessing for me.”

10 / 10
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Rickim October 4, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Esophageal Carcinoma: “Maybe it works for some but I knew after my husbands first dose of Keytruda something was wrong. I don't like new drugs for this reason they don’t test them enough and are hiding the effects of this drug. My husband was doing good until he took this drug. His cancer spread like wildfire after several doses of this drug. After 8 years of fighting esophageal cancer and it being fairly stable...he started this drug he now has adrenal cancer, cancer in his kidneys and brain cancer that will likely finish him off and guess what the esophageal cancer is still fairly stable. If we had stuck with traditional chemo I believe my husband would still be healthy. He had one problem after another from this medicine. I thought I did a good job checking this out. The Keytruda makers have so many ads and websites you can’t get to the reviews from real patients. Beware the side effects may worse then the help. Really know what your doing”

1 / 10
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Jer August 13, 2018

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “Although it seems some have had a bad experience with this drug, as in some other posts mine was positive. My father found out he had lung cancer. His brother and father both had also, and passed away at 74 (both same age). My father has been a heavy smoker since age 15, as they were also. After finding out he had tumors on his lungs, we both felt it was a death sentence. He informed me that he was going to do some treatments with a new drug. I had never heard of, and I work for a pharmaceutical. Keytruda was the name of it. Of course you have to qualify health, stage of cancer and other aspects to be treated. He was a high candidate for this drug as per his doctor. He began treatments immediately upon that confirmation. Within three months one of his two tumors was gone. The other had shrunk 50 %. Here we are in August, the other tumor is gone as per his scans, as well as his blood being normal. Now they did not say he was cured, but his treatments have ceased.”

9 / 10
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NatalieVero · Taken for less than 1 month July 7, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “Keytruda is a killer, my mother was diagnosed with NSLC in March and passed away June 22nd. This so called miracle drug attacked her healthy organs, there’s not a lot of information on the internet stating the facts, more than 4% of people suffer due to this drug. Please consider all your options my moms life was cut short because of false hopes.”

1 / 10
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Lysander · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 4, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “Keytruda was used for my boyfriend along with pemetrexed and carboplatin. After the third infusion, he developed a bad cough that turned out to be pneumonitis caused by the Keytruda. They persisted in giving him another round of the Keytruda, and the pneumonitis got much worse. He is on oxygen now. A few months after stopping the Keytruda, he developed autoimmune colitis, also attributed to the Keytruda. His cancer spread into the pleural cavity, so it didn't help at all. The risks of this drug were not explained to him before starting. I think this is criminal. He went in with one life threatening condition and came out with three!”

1 / 10
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Penny · Taken for 1 to 6 months November 7, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “I honestly believe this medicine ended my mother life. It was horrible she had two doses and passed away 2 months after taking this medicine. She was so sick from this medicine. Then a friend of our family who was doing great on chemo was put on Keytruda and they passed away 2 weeks later. This is a horrible medicine and I wish I had not placed my trust in the doctors who recommended it. I am heartbroken.”

1 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months May 13, 2020

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “I believe that Keytruda killed my Dad. The doctor told him most people don’t have side effects and this drug works great. My Dad was feeling good and after the second treatment had non stop coughing and severe shortness of breath. He could no longer breathe, collapsed and died. The doctor had no explanation or comments. Upon further research it looks like this drug only works for 20% who use it. I would explore other treatment options before using this drug. It’s marketed as a miracle drug but they don’t tell you it only works for a small percentage of people and a side effect may be death.”

1 / 10
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Angie · Taken for less than 1 month October 24, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer in Jan. 2019. His Dr prescribed Keytruda. His liver and kidney are failing after the second treatment. Don’t understand why the Drs don’t explain to you about the risks of getting this treatment. Very upsetting watching his health deteriorate so bad because of Keytruda.”

1 / 10
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Shar July 29, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My husband was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in May. He did not want chemo or radiation, so his Dr. suggested Keytruda, after first week he became weak, rash on back, muscle soreness and swollen feet. At the next Dr. visit three weeks later, he told the Dr. about the side effects, but the Dr. didn't think it was the Keytruda, but an injection he had also received to build up his bone marrow. The Dr. convinced him to continue with Keytruda. After that infusion he had severe muscle soreness. He couldn't walk, had no appetite and was completely bed ridden. We decided then that was the last dose of Keytruda he would have. It has now been approx. 6 weeks post treatment, and the Keytruda is out of his system. He is starting to feel good again, back to golfing and having some quality of life. I know now if he had continued the Keytruda I felt that he would be have died after the third infusion. He will now be with me a few more months or years with some quality of life and dignity. ”

1 / 10
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bird · Taken for 1 to 2 years January 24, 2019

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: “My friend has had 36 treatments and has not had any side effect. Her treatments are every 21 days she is now cancer free and plans on staying on the treatment for the rest of her life. Her COPD is still bad but she is glad to be cancer free.”

10 / 10
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Schona · Taken for 1 to 2 years April 20, 2021

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Melanoma, Metastatic: “Had stage 4 melanoma that presented in my scapular bone in June 2016. Operation to remove meant I lost some movement in my right arm. 6 month later it spread to right femur bone and C3 in the neck. Started Ketruda in December 2016. Scan in March 2017 showed no evidence of any cancer. 4 years later living a normal life. Side effects minimal for the whole 2 years I was on treatment. Immune system kicked back into gear and did the job. Amazing drug as doesn’t poison you like chemo. Highly recommend.”

10 / 10
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Loulynn · Taken for 1 to 6 months May 3, 2017

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Melanoma, Metastatic: “Have been on Keytruda since January 2017, have completed my first 12 weeks treatment. Main side effect has been the fatigue. After 12 weeks had PET scan, results came back that the melanoma has been stopped from spreading. My melanoma had been vey aggressive, it was making new tumours within 10 days, so this treatment has been positive, as nothing new has come up in three months. We will see what the next three months brings.”

8 / 10
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This information is NOT intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners.