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GB-PDO-01312 | Date of Preparation: November 2020


KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) as monotherapy

The information provided on this site is general education information and does not take the place of your healthcare professional’s advice. Please always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions and talk with him/her about any questions or problems you have regarding your health and treatment

Your treatment

If you notice any symptoms while receiving your pembrolizumab treatment, you should speak to your healthcare professional right away. Be aware that side effects may still occur after receiving the final dose of your treatment and can affect more than one body area. Certain medicines, such as corticosteroids, may be used to help prevent more severe complications and reduce your symptoms. Your healthcare professional may delay or completely stop your treatment if your side effects are too severe. Do not attempt to diagnose or treat side effects yourself.

Ensure that you read the Patient Safety Information Brochure and carry your Patient Alert Card with you at all times.

How does your treatment work?

Pembrolizumab belongs to a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy. This type of drug works with your body’s immune system, by increasing its natural ability to identify and attack cancer cells.

How is your treatment given?

Your treatment will be given to you in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of an experienced healthcare professional. Your treatment will be given through an infusion into a vein.

The infusion will usually last for 30 mins. The amount of treatment you receive depends on what type of cancer you are being treated for. When pembrolizumab is given as monotherapy the recommended dose is either 200 mg every 3 weeks or 400 mg every 6 weeks. When Pembrolizumab is given as part of combination therapy the recommended dose is 200 mg every 3 weeks. Your healthcare professional will decide which regimen is best suited for you and how many treatments you will need.

It is important that you visit your healthcare professional for your scheduled appointments so your HCP can check your progress and administer your treatment. If you are unable to keep an appointment, call your HCP right away to reschedule.

Will there be side effects?

Like all medicines, pembrolizumab can cause side effects. Although not everyone gets them, it is important to look out for any signs and/or symptoms, do not wait until your next appointment. If you notice any symptoms you should communicate these straight away, to help your doctor stop them from becoming more serious. Your doctor may give you other medicines in order to prevent more severe complications and reduce your symptoms.

Many of the side effects can be managed without having to permanently come off treatment. Your doctor will determine how to best manage your side effects. Do not attempt to diagnose or treat side effects yourself. Always carry your Patient Alert Card with you at all times, and ensure you read the patient safety information brochure and the patient information leaflet.

Tell your doctor if you have had a solid tumour transplant or if you’re being considered for a stem cell transplant.

Understand the side effects

Like all medicines, pembrolizumab can cause side effects. Although not everybody gets them, it is important to look out for any signs and/or symptoms. If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor straight away. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) or in the diagram below.

Being aware

Your healthcare team should have provided you with materials to help you identify any side effects you may experience on your treatment. It is important to be aware of side effects. You may experience more than one side effect at the same time. Telling your healthcare professional IMMEDIATELY once you notice any symptoms may stop them from becoming more serious.

Do NOT wait for your next appointment.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT SIDE EFFECTS YOURSELF.

Possible side effects

Below is a diagram of the possible side effects you should look out for. If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor immediately. This includes any side effects not included in the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) or in the diagram below.


Symptoms to look out for include:

For further information, consult the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL).

What to do if symptoms occur

It is important to contact your healthcare professional as soon as symptoms occur. Always carry your Patient Alert Card which contains important information about reporting any signs of symptoms (including those not listed) immediately to your healthcare professional treating you while you are away from home. It also alerts other healthcare professionals that you are being treated with pembrolizumab. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, may be used to help prevent more severe complications and reduce your symptoms. Your healthcare professional may delay or completely stop your treatment if your side effects are too severe.

Do not attempt to diagnose or treat side effects yourself.

Your support tools

Sometimes it can feel like there is lots to remember about your treatment. Having materials that you can fill in and carry with you can help you to stay on top of the information. You may find the immunotherapy diary useful to keep track of how you are feeling and to record any questions that you may have for your healthcare professional. The immunotherapy diary is available directly from your healthcare professional.

Your Healthcare team should have provided you with a Patient Safety Information Brochure and Patient Alert Card to help you identify any side effects you may experience on pembrolizumab. Ensure you read these materials and carry your Patient Alert Card with you at all times.



PDF 145 KB

Patients: Safety Information Brochure and Patient Alert Card

It is important that you contact your healthcare professional (HCP) whenever symptoms occur. Always carry this Patient Alert Card with your HCP’s contact information so that he or she may be reached in case of emergency. Please remember to report any and all symptoms you experience (including those that are not included in the patient alert card) immediately to the HCP treating you. The patient alert card alerts other HCPs that you are being treated with pembrolizumab.

Download

PDF 1.2 KB

Immunotherapy Diary

As a supplement to the Patient Safety Information Brochure and the Patient Alert Card, the immunotherapy diary is designed to help reinforce what to look out for and what to do it you notice any changes. It includes pages on which to take notes on side effects or to write questions to ask your HCP on your next visit.

Download

Patient frequently asked questions

This section answers some of the questions you might have about your treatment. It is a good idea to jot down any other questions you have in your Immunotherapy Diary, so that you can ask your healthcare professional at your next appointment.

What effect will KEYTRUDA have on my other medicines?

Your treatment may interact with other medicines. It is important to tell your healthcare professional about any medicines you are currently taking or are planning to take.

Can I take antibiotics?

It is important to ensure that any medications are compatible with your KEYTRUDA® treatment. Ensure your healthcare professional is aware of any treatments you are currently taking or planning to take.

Can I take vitamins & herbal supplements?

You should tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Your healthcare professional can help you to decide if they are suitable to take or not.

Can I have vaccinations?

Consult your healthcare professional before receiving any vaccinations, including the flu vaccination.

Can I go on holiday?

Discuss your holiday plans with your healthcare professional before you book your holiday. Some extra preparation may be necessary, and you should always carry your Patient Alert Card with you.

Should I change my diet?

A healthy diet is important. You can discuss any changes to your diet with your healthcare professional.

Can I drink alcohol?

Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum when taking KEYTRUDA®. You can discuss this with your healthcare professional.

Can I exercise?

Gentle exercise, such as short walks, may help as it can help reduce constipation and the feeling of tiredness. Please discuss with your healthcare professional before starting any exercise.

Should I use contraception?

Yes. It is possible that your treatment could harm or cause death to your unborn baby. If you are female and able to become pregnant you should use an effective method of contraception during and for at least 4 months after the last dose of KEYTRUDA®. Talk to your healthcare professional about birth control methods that you can use during this time, and tell your healthcare professional right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

Can I breastfeed?

It is not known if KEYTRUDA® passes into your breast milk. Since it is known that antibodies can be secreted in human milk, a risk to newborns/infants cannot be excluded. Please speak to your healthcare professional for further guidance if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed before starting treatment.

Can I drive and/or operate machinery?

You may feel dizzy, tired or weak while taking KEYTRUDA®, which can affect your ability to drive or use tools or machines. If this happens, please avoid these activities.

Supporting documentation

KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)

Summary of Product Characteristics | Patient Information Leaflet

GB-PDO-01252 | Date of Preparation: December 2020