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Yervoy Side Effects

Generic name: ipilimumab

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Apr 22, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about ipilimumab. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Yervoy.

For the Consumer

Applies to ipilimumab: intravenous solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, ipilimumab (the active ingredient contained in Yervoy) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ipilimumab:

More common

  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • bone pain
  • chest pain or tightness
  • constipation
  • cough
  • depressed mood
  • diarrhea
  • dry skin and hair
  • feeling cold
  • fever
  • hair loss
  • heartburn
  • hoarseness or husky voice
  • indigestion
  • itching, skin rash
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • pain in the arms or legs
  • severe stomach pain, cramping, or burning
  • slowed heartbeat
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • trouble breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds, severe and continuing
  • watery or bloody diarrhea

Less common

  • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision or other changes in vision
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • burning, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • cracked, dry, or scaly skin
  • dark urine
  • darkening of the skin
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficulty with breathing, chewing, swallowing, or talking
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • drowsiness
  • eye discharge or excessive tearing
  • eye pain or sensitivity to light
  • fainting
  • headache, possibly severe
  • hives or welts
  • loss of appetite
  • mental depression
  • muscle weakness
  • pain, itching, burning, swelling, bleeding, or a lump under the skin where the needle was placed
  • painful or difficult urination
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • sensation of pins and needles
  • severe tiredness
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stabbing pain
  • stomach tenderness
  • swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin


  • Anxiety
  • bloating
  • blue or pale skin
  • chest pain, possibly moving to the left arm, neck, or shoulder
  • confusion
  • difficulty with moving
  • fast heartbeat
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • increased thirst
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness
  • pain or burning in the throat
  • pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  • pains in the stomach or side, possibly radiating to the back
  • skin irritation or rash, including rash that looks like psoriasis
  • sores, welts, or blisters on the skin
  • stiff neck or back

Incidence not known

  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bleeding gums
  • general body swelling
  • inability to move the arms and legs
  • joint or muscle pain
  • nosebleeds
  • red irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • throbbing pain

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of ipilimumab may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Headache
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ipilimumab: intravenous solution


The most common side effects were diarrhea, rash, pruritus, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, and colitis.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Sepsis, oral candidiasis, cellulitis, contrast media allergy, seasonal allergy

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Septic shock, cytokine release syndrome, positive antinuclear antibody

Rare (less than 0.1%): Sarcoidosis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Infectious hepatitis, increased blood bilirubin, increased alanine aminotransferase, increased aspartate aminotransferase, abnormal hepatic function, hepatic failure, hepatomegaly, jaundice

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Autoimmune hepatitis, increased gamma-glutamyltransferase[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, flushing, hypertension, hematoma, venous thrombosis, hemorrhage, lymphedema, hot flush

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Orthostatic hypotension, pericardial effusion

Rare (less than 0.1%): Myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, angiopathy, peripheral ischemia, vasculitis, temporal arteritis, Raynaud's phenomenon[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pruritus (up to 33%), rash (up to 30%)

Common (1% to 10%): Erythema, vitiligo, alopecia, dry skin, night sweats, dermatitis, urticaria, eczema, skin hypopigmentation, contusion, excoriation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Toxic epidermal necrolysis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, skin exfoliation, erythema multiforme, psoriasis, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, erythema nodosum, hair color changes[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Decreased blood corticotrophin, hypopituitarism (including hypophysitis), hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, hyperthyroidism

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood thyroid stimulating hormone, decreased blood cortisol, decreased blood testosterone, hypogonadism, thyroiditis, hypoparathyroidism, decreased blood thyroid stimulating hormone, decreased blood gonadotrophin, decreased thyroxin, abnormal blood prolactin, hypocalcemia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Secondary adrenocortical insufficiency, hyperpituitarism, autoimmune thyroiditis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 38%), vomiting (up to 24%), abdominal pain (up to 23%), nausea

Common (1% to 10%): Colitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomatitis, dysphagia, retching, gastroenteritis, increased lipase, large intestine perforation, proctitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood amylase, gastrointestinal perforation, large intestinal ulcer, esophagitis, ileus, diverticulitis, gastric ulcer, enterocolitis, pancreatitis, peritonitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, lymphopenia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hemolytic anemia, leucopenia, lymphocytosis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Polycythemia[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Lethargy, tremor, brain edema, cranial neuropathy, peripheral sensory neuropathy, aphasia, dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Guillain-Barré syndrome, meningitis (aseptic), syncope, ataxia, tremor, myoclonus, dysarthria, myasthenia gravis-like syndrome

Rare (less than 0.1%): Meninginism, autoimmune central neuropathy (encephalitis), neurosensory hypoacusis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision, conjunctivitis, uveitis, eye pain, dry eye

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vitreous hemorrhage, iritis, reduced visual acuity, foreign body sensation in eyes, blepharitis, paresthesia, hypoesthesia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Episcleritis, scleritis, eye edema, ocular myositis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 42%), pyrexia (up to 13%)

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, chills, asthenia, edema, pain, influenza-like illness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Multi-organ failure, infusion related reaction, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, mucosal inflammation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Renal failure, hematuria, increased blood creatinine

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Glomerulonephritis, renal tubular acidosis, urinary tract infection

Rare (less than 0.1%): Immune-mediated nephritis, proteinuria, renal dysfunction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cough (up to 17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection, oropharyngeal pain, wheezing, nasal disorder, sinus, congestion, dyspnea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung infiltration, pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Amenorrhea[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Anaphylactic reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Injection site reaction (up to 50%)

Common (1% to 10%): Vaccination site reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (up to 27%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypokalemia, hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, hyponatremia, decreased weight, dehydration, type 1 diabetes mellitus

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Alkalosis, hypophosphatemia, tumor lysis syndrome

Rare (less than 0.1%): Tumor lysis syndrome[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia, muscle spasms

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthralgia, musculoskeletal pain, arthritis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Polymyalgia rheumatica, myositis, polymyositis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Tumor pain, cancer pain

Frequency not reported: Paraneoplastic syndrome[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety, decreased libido, confusional state

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Mental status changes[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Yervoy (ipilimumab)." Bristol-Myers Squibb (2011):

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.