"June 6, 2011 -- Two new drugs that work in very different ways are being hailed as game changers in the treatment of patients with advanced forms of the deadly skin cancer melanoma.
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IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
IPILIMUMAB - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Yervoy
WARNING: This medication can cause serious (sometimes fatal) side effects in many parts of the body. These effects can occur during treatment with ipilimumab, but can also occur months after the last dose of this medication.
Get medical help right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects: diarrhea, mucus or blood in your stool, stomach pain, yellowing of skin/eyes, dark urine, unusual bleeding/bruising, unusual weakness, mouth sores, numbness/tingling in hands/feet, persistent headache, feeling cold all the time, weight gain, mental/mood changes, change in sex drive, unusual change in the amount of urine, dizziness, eye pain/redness, vision changes, fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, seizure, muscle pain, hearing loss, night sweats, fainting.
USES: Ipilimumab is used to treat adults with melanoma (skin cancer) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. 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.
HOW TO USE: 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. It is usually given every 3 weeks for up to 4 doses, or 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. The goal is to complete 4 doses of ipilimumab within 16 weeks.
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.
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