Yervoy

Generic Name: Ipilimumab

  • What is Yervoy?

    Yervoy is a medicine used to treat melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. Yervoy is administered intravenously (through a vein in your arm).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Yervoy?

    Yervoy can cause serious side effects in many parts of your body, which can lead to death. These side effects are most likely to begin during treatment; however, side effects can show up months after your last infusion. Call your doctor if you experience any of the signs or symptoms outlined below or if your symptoms get worse. Even seemingly mild symptoms can lead to severe or life-threatening conditions if not addressed. Do not try to treat symptoms yourself.

    Inflammation of your intestines (colitis) that can cause tears or holes (perforation) in your intestines can occur. Signs and symptoms of colitis may include: blood in your stools or dark, tarry, sticky stools; diarrhea or more bowel movements than usual; and stomach pain or tenderness.

    Inflammation of your liver (hepatitis) that can lead to liver failure can occur. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis may include: bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, dark urine (tea colored), nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of your stomach, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

    Inflammation of your skin that can lead to severe skin reactions (toxic epidermal necrolysis) can occur. Signs and symptoms of inflammation of your skin may include: skin blistering and/or peeling, skin rash with or without itching, and sores in your mouth.

    Inflammation of your nerves that can lead to paralysis can occur. Symptoms of inflammation of your nerves may include: numbness or tingling in your hands or your feet, and unusual weakness of your legs, arms, or face.

    Inflammation of your hormone glands (especially the pituitary, adrenal, or thyroid glands) that can affect how these glands work may occur. Signs and symptoms that your glands may not be working properly may include: changes in mood or behavior (such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness), dizziness or fainting, persistent or unusual headaches, unusual sluggishness, feeling cold all the time, and weight gain.

    Inflammation of your eyes may occur. Symptoms of inflammation of your eyes may include: blurry vision, double vision, other vision problems, and eye pain or redness.

    Your doctor will perform blood tests before starting, and during your treatment with Yervoy.

  • Who should not take Yervoy?

    Do not receive Yervoy if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Yervoy?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Yervoy. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory disease of the large intestine), Crohn's disease (an inflammatory disease of the digestive system), lupus (a disease that affects the immune system), sarcoidosis (an inflammatory disease of the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, or other tissues), or any other condition where your immune system attacks your body; had an organ transplant; have liver damage from diseases or medications; have any other medical conditions; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your weight.

  • How should I take Yervoy?

    Your doctor will administer Yervoy intravenously through a needle placed in a vein. It takes about 90 minutes to give you the full dose of Yervoy. Your doctor will tell you how often you should receive Yervoy.

  • What should I avoid while taking Yervoy?

    Do not miss your scheduled appointment to receive Yervoy.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Yervoy?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Yervoy at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Yervoy?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: diarrhea, itching, rash, tiredness

  • Can I receive Yervoy if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Yervoy can cause harm to your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. The effects of Yervoy during breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Yervoy?

    Contact your doctor if you miss your scheduled appointment to receive Yervoy.

  • How should I store Yervoy?

    Your doctor will store this medication for you.