Keytruda vs. Balversa

Are Keytruda and Balversa the Same Thing?

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Balversa (erdafitinib) are used to treat a type of bladder cancer called urothelial carcinoma.

Keytruda is also used to treat patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following ipilimumab and, if BRAF V600 mutation positive, a BRAF inhibitor. Keytruda is also used to treat non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC), classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma, microsatellite instability-high (MSI H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) solid tumors, cervical cancer that tests positive for “PD-L1,” hepatocellular carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), and renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Keytruda and Balversa belong to different drug classes. Keytruda is a monoclonal antibody and Balversa is a kinase inhibitor.

Side effects of Keytruda and Balversa that are similar include fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, decreased appetite, constipation, joint pain, and diarrhea.

Side effects of Keytruda that are different from Balversa include cough, itching, rash, loss of skin pigmentation (vitiligo), headache, and back pain.

Side effects of Balversa that are different from Keytruda include inflammation of the mouth and lips, dry mouth, separation nails from the nail bed, infection around the fingernails or toenails, decreased sodium, changes in taste, dry skin, decreased magnesium, dry eye, hair loss, hand-foot syndrome redness, swelling, pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet), abdominal pain, increased calcium, musculoskeletal pain, vomiting, fever, nail discoloration, blurred vision, increased tearing, urinary tract infection (UTI), conjunctivitis, mouth or throat pain, blood in the urine, and weight loss.

Keytruda may interact with other drugs.

Balversa may interact with strong or moderate inhibitors or inducers of CYP2C9 or CYP3A4, serum phosphate level-altering agents, CYP3A4 substrates, OCT2 substrates, or P-gp substrates.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Keytruda?

Side effects of Keytruda include:

  • fatigue,
  • cough,
  • shortness of breath,
  • nausea,
  • itching,
  • rash,
  • loss of skin pigmentation (vitiligo),
  • decreased appetite,
  • headache,
  • constipation,
  • joint pain,
  • back pain, and
  • diarrhea.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Balversa?

Common side effects of Balversa include:

  • inflammation of the mouth and lips,
  • fatigue,
  • diarrhea,
  • dry mouth,
  • separation nails from the nail bed,
  • infection around the fingernails or toenails,
  • decreased sodium,
  • decreased appetite,
  • changes in taste,
  • dry skin, decreased magnesium,
  • dry eye,
  • hair loss,
  • hand-foot syndrome redness,
  • swelling,
  • pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet),
  • constipation,
  • abdominal pain,
  • increased calcium,
  • nausea,
  • musculoskeletal pain,
  • vomiting,
  • fever,
  • nail discoloration,
  • blurred vision,
  • increased tearing,
  • urinary tract infection (UTI),
  • conjunctivitis,
  • mouth or throat pain,
  • shortness of breath,
  • blood in the urine,
  • joint pain, and
  • weight loss

What Is Keytruda?

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is a monoclonal antibody used to treat patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following ipilimumab and, if BRAF V600 mutation positive, a BRAF inhibitor.

What Is Balversa?

Balversa (erdafitinib) is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma that has susceptible FGFR3 or FGFR2 genetic alterations, and progressed during or following at least one line of prior platinum-containing chemotherapy including within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-containing chemotherapy.

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What Drugs Interact With Keytruda?

Keytruda may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Keytruda is not recommended for use during pregnancy; it may harm a fetus. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Balversa?

Balversa may interact with strong or moderate inhibitors or inducers of CYP2C9 or CYP3A4, serum phosphate level-altering agents, CYP3A4 substrates, OCT2 substrates, or P-gp substrates. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using Balversa; it may harm a fetus. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in a breastfed child, breastfeeding is not recommended while using Balversa and for one moth following the last dose.

How Should Keytruda Be Taken?

The recommended dose of Keytruda is 2 mg/kg administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every 3 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

How Should Balversa Be Taken?

The recommended initial dosage of Balversa is 8 mg orally once daily with a dose increase to 9 mg daily if criteria are met.

Disclaimer

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References
SOURCES:

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Keytruda Product Information.

https://www.keytruda.com

Janssen. Balversa Product Information.

http://www.janssenprescriptionassistance.com/balversa-cost-assistance

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