Pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) is an anti–PD-1 monoclonal antibody indicated for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and NSCLC. The drug is administered as an IV infusion. This section discusses the common adverse reactions, warnings and precautions, drug interactions and other contraindications associated with pembrolizumab use.
Common adverse reactions
Warnings and precautions
Drug interactions and other contraindications
Pembrolizumab common adverse reactions
Adverse reactions reported by at least 20% of participants in clinical trials included fatigue, pruritus, diarrhea, decreased appetite, rash, dyspnea, constipation and nausea.
Pembrolizumab warnings and precautions
The following adverse events have been reported in association with pembrolizumab treatment:
- immune-mediated pneumonitis;
- immune-mediated colitis;
- immune-mediated hepatitis;
- immune-mediated endocrinopathies (including hyperthyroidism, hypophysitis, and diabetes mellitus exacerbation);
- immune-mediated nephritis; and
- infusion reactions.
Pembrolizumab drug interactions and other contraindications
Women of reproductive age should be warned about the potential fetal toxicity of pembrolizumab.
Any severe or life-threatening immune-mediated adverse event may result in interruption or immediate discontinuation of pembrolizumab.