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Ipilimumab is used to treat melanoma (skin cancer). It works by changing the action of your own immune system, directing it to attack skin cancer cells. Unfortunately, other body parts may also be affected (see Warning section). Ipilimumab is a type of medication called a monoclonal antibody.
Read the Medication Guide and Patient Wallet Card provided by your pharmacist before you start using ipilimumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Carry the Patient Wallet Card with you at all times. Show the card to all of your health care providers to let them know that you are being treated with ipilimumab.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It should be injected slowly over 90 minutes as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight and response to treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help with serious side effects if they occur, or your doctor may delay your dose. If the side effects lessen, then treatment with ipilimumab may continue.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Warning section.
Tiredness, nausea, or vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before using ipilimumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: history of organ transplant, immune system disorders (such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, lupus, sarcoidosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should use reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose of ipilimumab. Consult your doctor for more details. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
A product that may interact with this drug include: vemurafenib.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function tests, thyroid function test) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.