Cancer Chemo Drug Uses & Side Effects



What are the side effects of Keytruda?

Keytruda is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with your immune system. Keytruda can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become severe or life-threatening and can lead to death. These problems may happen anytime during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.

Call or see your doctor right away if you develop any symptoms of the following problems or these symptoms get worse:

Lung problems (pneumonitis). Symptoms of pneumonitis may include:

Intestinal problems (colitis) that can lead to tears or holes in your intestine. Signs and symptoms of colitis may include:

  • diarrhea or more bowel movements than usual
  • stools that are black, tarry, sticky, or have blood or mucus
  • severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness

Liver problems, including hepatitis. Signs and symptoms of liver problems may include:

Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and pancreas). Signs and symptoms that your hormone glands are not working properly may include:

Kidney problems, including nephritis and kidney failure. Signs of kidney problems may include:

  • change in the amount or color of your urine

Skin problems. Signs of skin problems may include:

  • rash
  • itching
  • blisters, peeling or skin sores
  • painful sores or ulcers in your mouth or in your nose, throat, or genital area

Problems in other organs. Signs and symptoms of these problems may include:

  • changes in eyesight
  • severe or persistent muscle or joint pains
  • severe muscle weakness
  • low red blood cells (anemia)
  • swollen lymph nodes, rash or tender lumps on skin, cough, shortness of breath, vision changes, or eye pain (sarcoidosis)
  • confusion, fever, muscle weakness, balance problems, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, memory problems, or seizures (encephalitis)
  • shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, feeling tired, or chest pain (myocarditis)

Infusion (IV) reactions that can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include:

Rejection of a transplanted organ. People who have had an organ transplant may have an increased risk of organ transplant rejection. Your doctor should tell you what signs and symptoms you should report and monitor you, depending on the type of organ transplant that you have had.

Complications, including graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), in people who have received a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic). These complications can be severe and can lead to death. These complications may happen if you underwent transplantation either before or after being treated with Keytruda. Your doctor will monitor you for the following signs and symptoms: skin rash, liver inflammation, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, and diarrhea.

Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your doctor will check you for these problems during treatment with Keytruda. Your doctor may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. Your doctor may also need to delay or completely stop treatment with Keytruda, if you have severe side effects.

Common side effects of Keytruda when used alone include: feeling tired, pain, including pain in muscles, bones or joints and stomach-area (abdominal) pain, decreased appetite, itching, diarrhea, nausea, rash, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and constipation.

Common side effects of Keytruda when given with certain chemotherapy medicines include: feeling tired or weak, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, rash, vomiting, cough, trouble breathing, fever, hair loss, inflammation of the nerves that may cause pain, weakness, and paralysis in the arms and legs, swelling of the lining of the mouth, nose, eyes, throat, intestines, or vagina, and mouth sores.

Common side effects of Keytruda when given with axitinib include: diarrhea, feeling tired or weak, high blood pressure, liver problems, low levels of thyroid hormone, decreased appetite, blisters or rash on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, nausea, mouth sores or swelling of the lining of the mouth, nose, eyes, throat, intestines, or vagina, hoarseness, rash, cough, and constipation.

Common side effects of Keytruda when given with lenvatinib include: feeling tired, high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, diarrhea, decreased appetite, low levels of thyroid hormone, nausea, mouth sores, vomiting, weight loss, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, headache, constipation, urinary tract infection, hoarseness, bleeding, low magnesium level, blisters or rash on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, shortness of breath, cough, and rash.

In children, feeling tired, vomiting and stomach-area (abdominal) pain, and increased levels of liver enzymes and decreased levels of salt (sodium) in the blood are more common than in adults.

These are not all the possible side effects of Keytruda. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

General information about the safe and effective use of Keytruda


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