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Pembrolizumab

pembrolizumab

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By Medicover Hospitals / 01 March 2021
Home | Medicine | Pembrolizumab

What is Pembrolizumab?

  • Pembrolizumab is a highly selective humanised PD-1 receptor monoclonal antibody against IgG4-kappa. It was developed by grafting the variable sequences of a very high-affinity mouse antihuman PD-1 antibody onto a human IgG4-kappa isotype with a stabilising S228P Fc mutation onto a human IgG4-kappa isotype. Pembrolizumab is a type of immunotherapy which is known as the brand name Keytruda. The medication can be used as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), melanoma skin cancer, bladder cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma.
    1. Pembrolizumab Uses
    2. Pembrolizumab Side effects
    3. Interactions
    4. Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
    5. Pembrolizumab vs Mitomycin
    6. Frequently Asked Questions
    7. Citations

    Pembrolizumab Uses:

  • Pembrolizumab is prescribed by the doctor to treat melanoma (a form of skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery or has spread to other parts of the body, or in combination with other chemotherapy, medications to treat and prevent the return of melanoma after surgery to remove it and any affected lymph nodes. The medication is also used for the treatment of some forms of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that are not treatable by surgery, other chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or that have spread to or worsened in other parts of the body during or after treatment with chemotherapy-containing platinum (cisplatin, carboplatin) or in conjunction with other chemotherapy medications (paclitaxel, pemetrexed). Pembrolizumab is used for the treatment of small-cell lung cancer which has spread to other parts of the body or worsened during or after it was treated with platinum-containing chemotherapy medications.
  • Pembrolizumab Side effects:

  • Some of the common side effects of Pembrolizumab are:
    • Joint pain
    • Back pain
    • Swelling of the body
    • Changes in the skin colour
    • Extreme tiredness
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
  • Some of the serious side effects of Pembrolizumab are:
    • Blisters or peeling of skin
    • Painful sores
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Stools that are black
    • Severe stomach cramp
    • Increase or decreased in appetite
    • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Changes in weight
    • Hair Loss
    • Increased in sweating
  • Pembrolizumab can also cause some other serious side effects. Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing any unusual problems while you are taking these medications.
  • How to take Pembrolizumab?

  • Pembrolizumab injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein) in the hospital or medical centre for a duration of 30 minutes by a doctor or nurse. It is usually injected once every three to six weeks for as long as the doctor suggests. Pembrolizumab injection can cause some serious reactions during or shortly after the infusion of the medications. If you are facing any of the following symptoms like flushing, fever, dizziness and shortness of breath then talk with your doctor immediately. After noticing all the symptoms the doctor might stop the treatment with Pembrolizumab injection and will start treating you with some other medications.
  • Interactions

  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of and monitor any possible drug interactions. Do not start to take it on your own, stop taking it or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all prescribed medication and non-prescribed/herbal products you may use, especially warfarin, before using this medicine.
  • This medication may cause false-positive results with certain products tested for diabetic urine (cupric sulfate-type). This drug may also affect the results of certain laboratory tests. Make sure your laboratory personnel and your doctors know you're using this drug.
  • Overdose

  • Symptoms of overdose can include extreme drowsiness, confusion, lack of balance, severe muscle weakness, fainting, or shallow breathing. If you have taken more than the prescribed Pembrolizumab tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.
  • Missed Dose

  • If you miss a dose, avoid taking Pembrolizumab tablets unless you have time to sleep for 7 to 8 hours afterwards. Skip the missed dose and go back to your daily dosing cycle if you miss a dose of this drug. Do not use duplicate doses.
  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

  • It's uncertain if this therapy affects people's fertility. Before beginning therapy, speak to your doctor if you think you may want to have a baby in the future. A baby growing in the womb could be affected by this medicine. It is important to prevent getting pregnant or fathering a child while taking this medicine and for at least 4 months afterwards. Before beginning treatment, speak to your doctor or nurse about successful contraception. Breastfeeding is not recommended during this treatment because the medication may transfer into your breast milk.
  • Pembrolizumab vs Mitomycin

    Pembrolizumab
    Mitomycin
    Pembrolizumab is a type of immunotherapy which is known as the brand name Keytruda. Mitomycin is a cancer drug that is used in conjunction with other medicines to treat cancers of the stomach and pancreas.
    Pembrolizumab is used for the treatment of small-cell lung cancer which has spread to other parts of the body or worsened during or after it was treated with platinum-containing chemotherapy medications. Mitomycin is a type of antibiotic that is used only for chemotherapy for cancer. It slows or prevents cancer cell growth in the body.
    Some of the common side effects of Pembrolizumab are:
    • -Joint pain
    • -Back pain
    • -Swelling of the body
    • -Changes in the skin color
    • -Extreme tiredness
    Some of the common side effects of Mitomycin are:
    • -Nausea
    • -Vomiting
    • -Loss of appetite
    • -Sores in the mouth
    • -Headache

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Pembrolizumab is an immunotherapy that interacts with the immune system to help combat cancer. It is not chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
    Immunotherapy is an effective systemic cure for cancer, like melanoma, since it stimulates the body's cancer-fighting immune system. Drugs that pass across the bloodstream to all areas of the body are known as systemic therapies.
    Pembrolizumab is used for the treatment of small-cell lung cancer which has spread to other parts of the body or worsened during or after it was treated with platinum-containing chemotherapy medications.
    Some of the common side effects of Pembrolizumab are:
    • -Joint pain
    • -Back pain
    • -Swelling of the body
    • -Changes in the skin colour
    • -Extreme tiredness

    Citations:

  • Pembrolizumab, https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/abs/10.2217/imt-2017-0121
  • Pembrolizumab side effects , https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/14740338.2015.1021774