What to expect when
starting treatment

KEYTRUDA is a prescription medicine used to treat a kind of lung cancer called non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The information below can help give you a better idea of how treatment with KEYTRUDA works.

  • How Will You Receive KEYTRUDA?

    How will I receive KEYTRUDA?

    Your doctor will give you KEYTRUDA into your vein through an IV line. Treatments usually take place at your doctor’s office or an infusion clinic.
  • How Long Does Treatment Take?

    How long does treatment take?

    Treatment with KEYTRUDA is usually given over 30 minutes every 3 weeks.
 
Open all
Q&A 1 What should I tell my doctor before I start treatment with
   KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)?
 

Before you receive KEYTRUDA, tell your doctor if you:

  • have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus

  • have had an organ transplant

  • have lung or breathing problems

  • have liver problems

  • have any other medical problems

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant

    • KEYTRUDA can harm your unborn baby.

    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment and for at least 4 months after the final dose of KEYTRUDA.

    • Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with KEYTRUDA.

  • 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 final dose of KEYTRUDA.

  • are taking other medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements

Q&A 2 Why do I need to have a PD-L1 biomarker test before starting
    treatment with KEYTRUDA?
 
  • Biomarker tests are used to help predict your response to certain treatments, such as
    KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab).

  • The results of your PD-L1 biomarker test will help your doctor determine if KEYTRUDA is right for you.

Get more information about biomarker testing.
Q&A 3 How long will I stay on
treatment?
 
  • KEYTRUDA may be given for as long as it is working and side effects are tolerable, or for up to
    24 months.

  • Every patient is different. For that reason, your doctor will decide how many treatments you need, based on your experience with KEYTRUDA.

Q&A 4 What if I can’t make an upcoming appointment?  
  • If you miss any scheduled appointments, call your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Q&A 5 Do I need to be monitored while on treatment?  
  • Yes, your doctor will check you for problems during treatment with KEYTRUDA.

  • If you experience any symptom or side effect, it’s important to get medical treatment right away; this may help keep problems from becoming more serious.

  • Your doctor will do blood tests to check you for side effects.

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

  • It is important to stay in contact with your doctor regularly while on treatment.

Q&A 6 Is there anything else I should know about treatment?  
  • Your doctor will keep track of how you are responding to treatment through scans and x-rays.

  • 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.

    • If you stopped receiving treatment, but are no longer experiencing those serious side effects, you may be able to restart treatment. Talk to your doctor to discuss your options.

Q&A 7 Does KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) treat anything else besides
   advanced non–small cell lung cancer?
 
  • KEYTRUDA is also FDA-approved to treat advanced melanoma and head and neck squamous cell cancer.

  • KEYTRUDA is a prescription medicine to treat a kind of skin cancer called melanoma. It may be used when your melanoma has spread or cannot be removed by surgery (advanced melanoma). It also is used to treat a kind of cancer called head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). KEYTRUDA may be used when your HNSCC has returned or spread (advanced HNSCC) and you have tried chemotherapy that contains platinum and it did not work or is no longer working. It is not known if KEYTRUDA is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.



Ask Your Health Care Team if KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) Is Right for You

Ask your health care team if KEYTRUDA is right for you

Want more info about KEYTRUDA?

Sign up for regular updates 

Need help talking to
your doctor?

Download a doctor
discussion guide 

For more information or to sign up over the phone, call 85-KEYTRUDA (855-398-7832)(855-398-7832).


Please scroll for full indication

KEYTRUDA is used to treat a kind of lung cancer called non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). KEYTRUDA may be used as your first treatment option when your lung cancer has spread (advanced NSCLC) and tests positive for “PD-L1” and your tumor does not have an abnormal “EGFR” or “ALK” gene.

KEYTRUDA may also be used for advanced NSCLC if you have tried chemotherapy that contains platinum and it did not work or is no longer working and your lung cancer tests positive for PD-L1 and if your tumor has an abnormal EGFR or ALK gene, you have received an EGFR or ALK inhibitor medicine that did not work or is no longer working.

It is not known if KEYTRUDA is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.

PD-L1 = programmed death ligand 1;
EGFR = epidermal growth factor receptor;
ALK = anaplastic lymphoma kinase.


Ask Your Health Care Team if KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) Is Right for You

Ask your health care team if KEYTRUDA is right for you

Want more info about KEYTRUDA?

Sign up for regular updates 

Need help talking to
your doctor?

Download a doctor
discussion guide 

For more information or to sign up over the phone, call 85-KEYTRUDA (855-398-7832)(855-398-7832).

Important Risk Information About KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)

KEYTRUDA is a medicine that may treat your lung cancer by working with your immune system. KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in many areas of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become serious or life-threatening and can lead to death.

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 shortness of breath, chest pain, or new or worse cough.

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; or severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness.

Liver problems (hepatitis). Signs and symptoms of hepatitis may include yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen), dark urine, feeling less hungry than usual, or bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.

Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and pancreas). Signs and symptoms that your hormone glands are not working properly may include rapid heartbeat, weight loss or weight gain, increased sweating, feeling more hungry or thirsty, urinating more often than usual, hair loss, feeling cold, constipation, your voice gets deeper, muscle aches, dizziness or fainting, or headaches that will not go away or unusual headache.

Kidney problems, including nephritis and kidney failure. Signs of kidney problems may include change in the amount or color of your urine.

Problems in other organs. Signs of these problems may include rash, changes in eyesight, severe or persistent muscle or joint pains, severe muscle weakness, or low red blood cells (anemia).

Infusion (IV) reactions, that can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include chills or shaking, shortness of breath or wheezing, itching or rash, flushing, dizziness, fever, or feeling like passing out.

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.

Before you receive KEYTRUDA, tell your doctor if you have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus; have had an organ transplant; have lung or breathing problems; have liver problems; or have any other medical problems.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor. KEYTRUDA can harm your unborn baby. Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment and for at least 4 months after the final dose of KEYTRUDA. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with KEYTRUDA.

If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, tell your doctor. It is not known if KEYTRUDA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with KEYTRUDA and for 4 months after your final dose of KEYTRUDA.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Common side effects of KEYTRUDA include feeling tired, itching, diarrhea, decreased appetite, rash, shortness of breath, constipation, and nausea.

These are not all the possible side effects of KEYTRUDA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

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® (pembrolizumab) and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.


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