Nivolumab or Opdivo is a prescription drug used for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. It is given to those patients where lung cancer has spread and platinum-based chemotherapy has already been tried but did not work or is not working. For patients having abnormal EGFR, this FDA-approved medicine is also used.
How does it Work?
It is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and works by blocking a protein called PD-1 on certain immune cells. This protein helps the cancer cells in avoiding being formed and destroying the body. With block of PD-1 protein, the immune system recognizes the cancer cells and attacks them.
Precautions to be taken
Talk to your healthcare team and inform if you are pregnant as Nivolumab can harm your unborn baby. Avoid this medicine when you are breastfeeding as it may pass into your breast milk. You should talk to your practitioner about all your health problems and all other medicines you are taking.
Common Side Effects
It can cause problems that can sometimes become serious. The serious side effects of Nivolumab include:
- Intestinal problems such as tears or holes in intestine
- Liver problems may cover nausea or vomiting, pain on right side of stomach
- Hormone gland problems especially adrenal glands, thyroid
- Kidney problems may include decrease in amount of urine, blood in urine
- Inflammation of brain such as headache, memory problems, sleepiness
- Skin problems like itching, rash
- Problems in other organs such as changes in eye sight, severe muscle weakness
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you face any unusual problem, talk to your healthcare provider.
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The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes. If you face any cancer related symptoms, contact your health care provider.