Receiving treatment may affect how you feel. You may feel more tired, or you may not feel like eating very much. While everyone’s experience may differ, the video and additional tips below may help you manage your health. For more tips, talk to your health care team, or contact a representative with the KEY+YOU Patient Support Program.
Hi, I’m Jane Arboleda, oncology nurse. I’m here to share some helpful tips while taking the immunotherapy medicine called KEYTRUDA, also known as pembrolizumab.
Male Narrator: KEYTRUDA is a prescription medicine used to treat certain types of cancers, including a kind of skin cancer called melanoma. It may be used when your melanoma has spread or cannot be removed by surgery, which is known as advanced melanoma.
Nurse: If your doctor prescribes KEYTRUDA, it will be given into your vein through an intravenous line called an IV over 30 minutes.
Male Narrator: In adults, KEYTRUDA is usually given once every 3 or 6 weeks. Your doctor will decide how often and how many treatments you need. Talk to your doctor about the treatment schedule that is right for you.
Nurse: Infusions usually take place at your oncologist’s office or an infusion clinic, and taking care of your health between visits is very important. KEYTRUDA is not chemotherapy or radiation—it’s a different type of medicine called immunotherapy.
Make sure to tell any doctor or nurse that you take or have taken KEYTRUDA before they treat you. You know yourself best. Pay close attention to your mind and body while you’re on treatment with KEYTRUDA. Track how you are feeling and speak up if anything seems different. Consider noting things like your emotions and how your body is feeling.
Always contact your oncologist and get medical treatment right away if you feel different or have a side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
This may help keep side effects from becoming more serious. Your nurses, oncologist, and the rest of your cancer care team want to hear from you.
Contact them anytime, even between visits, when you feel something out of the ordinary so they can help you manage possible side effects and stay on treatment. You don’t have to go through treatment alone.
No matter who supports you, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s asking for help with day-to-day tasks, going to appointments, or just needing someone to be there to listen to you, know that it’s okay to reach out for help. The sooner you speak up, the better.
No matter who you feel comfortable talking to, it’s important to speak up when you need help and be sure to tell your health care team about any potential side effects that you may be feeling.
Male Narrator: KEYTRUDA can cause your immune system to attack healthy parts of your body during or after treatment. This may be severe and lead to death.
See your doctor right away if you have cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, severe nausea or vomiting, headache, light sensitivity, eye problems, irregular heartbeat, extreme tiredness, constipation, dizziness or fainting, changes in appetite, thirst, or urine, confusion, memory problems, muscle pain or weakness, fever, rash, itching, or flushing.
There may be other side effects. Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including immune system problems, if you’ve had or plan to have an organ or stem cell transplant, received chest radiation, or have a nervous system problem.
Nurse: So remember, tell any doctor or nurse that you take or have taken KEYTRUDA. Track how you are feeling and speak up if anything seems different. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The sooner you speak up, the better.
Male Narrator: For additional support throughout treatment, visit keytruda.com.
Please read the Medication Guide for KEYTRUDA, and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available. Select links to access.
If you have any changes in the way you feel, it’s important to discuss those changes with your health care team.
For mild diarrhea:
Nutrition is important for everyone. But if you are receiving treatment, there are even more reasons to eat a healthy diet. When you eat well, it may give you more strength. Your health care team may have more suggestions for how to eat healthier.
Most people who are receiving treatment feel tired. To help you feel less tired, try these tips. Ask your health care team for more ideas.
When you are receiving treatment, you may not always feel your best. However, exercise may help lessen some of your symptoms, including fatigue and nausea. Before you start a new exercise program, talk to your health care team.
The KEY+YOU Patient Support Program is designed to offer educational resources to help with the practical and emotional challenges of cancer. Patients prescribed KEYTRUDA for an approved indication can receive phone support, e-mails, and online activities.
If you’ve recently been prescribed KEYTRUDA, the quick start guide for KEYTRUDA gives you step-by-step information to help you prepare for your treatment, become familiar with possible side effects, and more.
At some point, you may need to receive medical care from professionals who are not part of your cancer care team, such as ER staff. The mobile wallet card is an easy way to let them know you are currently taking KEYTRUDA.
The card will be added directly to your phone, and appear in the same wallet app that holds things like tickets and credit cards.
Scan QR code for iOS and Android*
Open your phone’s camera app and hold your device so that the QR code appears in the viewfinder in the camera app. Tap the notification to open the link.
* Some Android phone cameras do not support QR code scanning and will require you to download a third party QR scanning app.
KEYTRUDA is a prescription medicine used to treat:
PD-L1 = programmed death ligand 1;
EGFR = epidermal growth factor receptor;
ALK = anaplastic lymphoma kinase.
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. You can have more than one of these problems at the same time. These problems may happen any time during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.
Call or see your health care provider right away if you develop any signs or symptoms of the following problems or if they get worse. These are not all of the signs and symptoms of immune system problems that can happen with KEYTRUDA:
Lung problems: cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
Intestinal problems: diarrhea (loose stools) or more frequent bowel movements than usual; stools that are black, tarry, sticky, or have blood or mucus; or severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness.
Liver problems: yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes; severe nausea or vomiting; pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen); dark urine (tea colored); or bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.
Hormone gland problems: headaches that will not go away or unusual headaches; eye sensitivity to light; eye problems; rapid heartbeat; increased sweating; extreme tiredness; weight gain or weight loss; feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual; urinating more often than usual; hair loss; feeling cold; constipation; your voice gets deeper; dizziness or fainting; changes in mood or behavior, such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness.
Kidney problems: decrease in the amount of your urine; blood in your urine; swelling of your ankles; loss of appetite.
Skin problems: rash; itching; skin blistering or peeling; painful sores or ulcers in your mouth or in your nose, throat, or genital area; fever or flu-like symptoms; swollen lymph nodes.
Problems can also happen in other organs and tissues. Signs and symptoms of these problems may include: chest pain; irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; swelling of ankles; confusion; sleepiness; memory problems; changes in mood or behavior; stiff neck; balance problems; tingling or numbness of the arms or legs; double vision; blurry vision; sensitivity to light; eye pain; changes in eyesight; persistent or severe muscle pain or weakness; muscle cramps; low red blood cells; bruising.
Infusion reactions that can sometimes be severe or life-threatening. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include chills or shaking, itching or rash, flushing, shortness of breath or wheezing, dizziness, feeling like passing out, fever, and back pain.
Rejection of a transplanted organ. Your health care provider should tell you what signs and symptoms you should report and they will 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 serious and can lead to death. These complications may happen if you underwent transplantation either before or after being treated with KEYTRUDA. Your health care provider will monitor you for these complications.
Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your health care provider will check you for these problems during treatment with KEYTRUDA. They may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. They may also need to delay or completely stop treatment with KEYTRUDA if you have severe side effects.
Before you receive KEYTRUDA, tell your health care provider if you have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus; have had an organ transplant or have had or plan to have a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic); have had radiation treatment in your chest area; have a condition that affects your nervous system, such as myasthenia gravis or Guillain-Barré syndrome.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your health care provider. KEYTRUDA can harm your unborn baby. If you are able to become pregnant, you will be given a pregnancy test before you start treatment. Use effective birth control during treatment and for 4 months after your last dose of KEYTRUDA. Tell them right away if you think you may be pregnant or you become pregnant during treatment with KEYTRUDA.
Tell your health care provider if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if KEYTRUDA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with KEYTRUDA and for 4 months after your last dose of KEYTRUDA.
Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Common side effects of KEYTRUDA when used alone include feeling tired; pain, including pain in muscles; rash; diarrhea; fever; cough; decreased appetite; itching; shortness of breath; constipation; bones or joints and stomach-area (abdominal) pain; nausea; and low levels of thyroid hormone.
In children, when KEYTRUDA is used alone, fever, vomiting, headache, stomach area (abdominal) pain, and low levels of white blood cells and red blood cells (anemia) are more common than in adults.
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; mouth sores; headache; weight loss; stomach-area (abdominal) pain; joint and muscle pain; and trouble sleeping.
Common side effects of KEYTRUDA when given with chemotherapy and bevacizumab include tingling or numbness of the arms or legs; hair loss; low red blood cell count; feeling tired or weak; nausea; low white blood cell count; diarrhea; high blood pressure; decreased platelet count; constipation; joint aches; vomiting; urinary tract infection; rash; low levels of thyroid hormone; and decreased appetite.
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.
These are not all the possible side effects of KEYTRUDA. Talk to your health care provider for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please read the accompanying Medication Guide for KEYTRUDA and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.
See a complete list of cancer types KEYTRUDA is approved to treat in the Medication Guide.
Additional treatment details can be found in the physician Prescribing Information.