Pembrolizumab

Description

Pembrolizumab is an anticancer medicine used alone or in combination with other medicines for the treatment of various types of cancers such as melanoma (a type of skin cancer), certain types of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL; non-Hodgkin lymphoma), Urothelial cancer (type of cancer lining of the bladder and urinary tract cancer), colorectal cancer (cancer that begins in the large intestine), Cervical cancer(lower-most part of the uterus (womb), Gastric cancer (stomach cancer), and hepatocellular carcinoma (certain type of liver cancer).

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Pembrolizumab

  • Body aches or Pain
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dry skin
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Drowsiness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

Uses of Pembrolizumab

What is it prescribed for?

  • Skin Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Urothelial Cancer
  • Hodgkin's Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
Read More
Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for this medicine to show its action is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to Pembrolizumab, or any other inactive ingredients present in the formulation.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
General warnings

Colitis

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of immune-related colitis or diarrhea. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor on priority. Appropriate corrective measures or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Infusion related reactions

This medicine has been associated with severe infusion-related reactions, characterized by symptoms such as fever, chills, rigors, fluctuations in blood pressure, swelling, etc. The onset of these reactions usually ranges from 30 minutes to 4 hours after starting the first intravenous infusion. Appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Kidney Disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with kidney diseases due to the increased risk of adverse effects. Regular monitoring of kidney function tests is necessary for such patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Liver Disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with liver diseases due to the increased risk of adverse effects. Regular monitoring of liver function tests is necessary for such patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Pneumonitis

This medicine should be used with caution since it may increase the risk of immune-related pneumonitis. Report any unusual symptoms to the doctor on priority. Appropriate corrective measures or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Driving or Operating machinery

Use of this medicine may rarely cause dizziness in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any dizziness during treatment with this medicine.

Missed Dose

Since this medicine is administered by a qualified healthcare professional in the clinical or hospital setting, the likelihood of a missed dose is very low. If you miss an appointment for a scheduled dose of this medicine, contact your doctor immediately for further instructions.

Overdose

Since this medicine is administered in the hospital or clinical setting by a qualified healthcare professional, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be initiated by the doctor if an overdose is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Thalidomide

Lenalidomide

Pomalidomide

Disease interactions

Tumor Lysis Syndrome

This medicine should be used with extreme caution due to the increased risk of tumor lysis syndrome. This risk is especially higher in patients suffering from electrolyte abnormalities and kidney diseases. Close monitoring of the clinical condition, appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on the clinical condition.

Infections

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of recurrent infections due to the increased risk of myelosuppression. Initiation of therapy with this medicine in patients with active infections is not recommended. Patients susceptible to infections should be monitored closely during treatment with this medicine. An alternative treatment option may be necessary in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Thyroid disorders

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with thyroid disorders due to the increased risk of altered thyroid hormone levels. Frequent monitoring of thyroid function, appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Diabetes

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with diabetes due to the increased risk of altered blood glucose levels. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is necessary for such patients. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
This medicine is usually administered in the clinical/hospital setting under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Your dose regimen and frequency of administration is likely to vary based on the condition being treated. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop any signs and symptoms of an infection.
Miscelleneous

Usage does not depend on food timings

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
This medicine works by enhancing your immune system against the growth of cancer cells.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2019 [cited 27 March 2019]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.6947.pdf

[Internet]. Accessdata.fda.gov. 2019 [cited 27 March 2019]. Available from:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/125514s012lbl.pdf

Pembrolizumab - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2019 [cited 27 March 2019]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB09037

Pembrolizumab Injection: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2019 [cited 27 March 2019]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a614048.html

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Information on this page was last updated on 16 Aug 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.