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Does Opdivo Cause Hair Loss

What Should I Know About Opdivo Vs Keytruda

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Opdivo and Keytruda are both used to treat some similar types of cancer. Theyre also both biologic drugs, which are made from living organisms.

Opdivo and Keytruda work in similar ways to treat cancer. They help your immune system fight off cancer by finding cancer cells and stopping them from growing.

Both medications are given by a doctor as an intravenous infusion.

To learn more about Opdivo and Keytruda, see this side-by-side comparison. Also, talk with your doctor about which drug is right for you.

Before you begin treatment with Opdivo, discuss all your health conditions with your doctor. This includes any allergies or other health problems. And tell them about all the medications you take.

These and other factors are described below.

Things To Think About

Scalp cooling only blocks certain drugs and does not work for everyone. You might still have hair thinning, or lose your hair completely. You can’t tell whether it will work for you until you try it.

You spend longer at hospital having your treatment if you have scalp cooling. You need to wear the cap before, during and after you have the chemotherapy drugs into your bloodstream.

The time varies depending on the drug and type of cold cap system your hospital has. For the Paxman scalp cooling system you might wear the cap:

  • before treatment or about 30 to 45 minutes depending on your hair type
  • during treatment for as long as it takes to recieve your chemotherapy drugs
  • after treatment for a minimum of 30 to 90 minutes depending on the drugs you have had

Your nurse might ask you to dampen or wet your hair before you put on the cap or cooling system. This is to improve contact between the scalp and cap and lowers the temperature of the skin on your scalp.

You also have a small amount of conditioner added to help in removing the cap after you have finished treatment.

Research suggests that scalp cooling with Afro Caribbean hair is not as successful. So your nurse might recommend you have longer periods of scalp cooling if this applies to you.

Consumer Information Use And Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine. The use of this information is governed by the Lexicomp End User License Agreement, available at .

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Opdivo For Colorectal Cancer

Opdivo is FDA-approved to treat colorectal cancer . This type of cancer starts in your colon or rectum.

Opdivo is approved for use in adults and children ages 12 years and older with CRC that:

  • is metastatic
  • has gotten worse after treatment with certain other cancer drugs
  • has certain genetic changes called either microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair deficient

Opdivo is approved for use on its own, and in combination with ipilimumab , to treat colorectal cancer.

Effectiveness for colorectal cancer

Opdivo has been found effective in treating metastatic CRC.

In a clinical study, people with metastatic CRC took Opdivo either alone or in combination with ipilimumab. In this study, the overall response rate was measured. This rate was 32% in people who took Opdivo on its own, and 49% in people who took Opdivo with ipilimumab.

Of people who took Opdivo on its own and whose cancer became smaller or disappeared:

  • 63% kept this response for at least 6 months
  • 38% kept this response for at least 1 year

Of people who took Opdivo in combination with ipilimumab and whose cancer became smaller or disappeared:

  • 83% kept this response for at least 6 months
  • 19% kept this response for at least1 year

Pain In The Joints And Other Areas

You may have painful joints from treatment with Opdivo. Joint pain is a common side effect of the drug.

Muscle, back, and bone pain are also common side effects of Opdivo.

Opdivo can cause your immune system to attack healthy tissues, even after youve stopped the drug. This can happen to any part of your body, including your joints. Rarely, arthritis has occurred with Opdivo treatment.

What might help

If youre experiencing pain in your joints or other areas of your body during or after Opdivo treatment, talk with your doctor. They can check your symptoms and suggest ways you can manage them.

For mild joint pain, they may recommend you take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen . They may also suggest applying ice packs or warm compresses to your joints.

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Drug Forms And Strengths

Opdivo contains the active drug nivolumab. It comes as a liquid solution inside vials. The vials contain 10 mg of drug in every mL of solution.

Opdivo is given as an intravenous infusion. With IV infusions, the drug is slowly injected into your vein over a certain period of time.

Opdivo infusions typically last for 30 minutes. Theyre given at a healthcare providers office or clinic.

How Nivolumab Is Given

You will be given nivolumab at a day unit as an outpatient. Nivolumab can be given on its own or with other cancer drugs.

During treatment you usually see a cancer doctor, a specialist nurse, and a specialist pharmacist. This is who we mean when we mention doctor, nurse or pharmacist in this information.

Before, or on the day of, treatment, a nurse or person trained to take blood may take a blood sample from you.

You will see a doctor or nurse before you have treatment. They will ask you how you have been feeling. If your blood results are okay, the pharmacist will prepare your treatment.

Nivolumab is given as a drip into a vein . It is given over either 30 minutes or 1 hour, depending on the dose.

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When Should I Call The Doctor

Everyoneâs different, so thereâs no rule for when side effects will show up. Skin problems can appear 2 to 3 weeks after the first dose of the drug, gastrointestinal problems may take 6 to 7 weeks, and endocrine problems may not affect you for more than 2 months. Some people donât have side effects until months after treatment ends.

The good news: Most side effects go away when youâre done. But even during treatment, there are ways to manage them. Let your doctor know so they can help.

Tell them how the symptoms are affecting your daily life. Donât feel like youâre complaining. You arenât. Youâre sharing vital information they need to do their job well and to improve your quality of life.

Dosage For Melanoma Skin Cancer

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The usual dosage of Opdivo for metastatic melanoma skin cancer is either:

  • 240 mg every two weeks, or
  • 480 mg every four weeks

This dosage is used as treatment for metastatic melanoma skin cancer and also as adjuvant treatment of melanoma skin cancer.

Opdivo is given at your healthcare providers office. Its given as an IV infusion that lasts 30 minutes.

Dosage for melanoma skin cancer when Opdivo is used in combination with ipilimumab

The usual dosage of Opdivo when its used in combination with ipilimumab is as follows:

  • Your first four doses depend on your weight. The usual dosage is 1 mg of drug per kilogram of body weight, given every 3 weeks.
  • For example, if a person weighs 150 pounds , their dose would be 1 mg of drug multiplied by 68 kilograms. This equals 68 mg of Opdivo, which is given every 3 weeks for the first four doses.
  • After your first four doses of Opdivo, the usual dosage is either 240 mg every 2 weeks or 480 mg every 4 weeks.

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What Are Studies And Clinical Trials Telling Us About Opdivo

Studies have, in general, looked at the effect of Opdivo on specific cancers rather than cancers as a whole:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer: A 2017 review of nine studies involving people with stage III and stage IV non-small cell lung cancer found that nivolumab and Keytruda improved overall survival more than chemotherapy when used second line . In addition, people experienced fewer side effects on the checkpoint inhibitors than on chemotherapy. Opdivo may be used for either lung adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs. Opdivo should only be used for those people who do not have targetable gene mutations or haven’t responded to targeted therapy.
  • Metastatic melanoma: Opdivo is now recommended first line for metastatic melanoma.
  • Metastatic small cell lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Classical Hodgkin lymphoma: Opdivo may used for people with classical Hodgkin lymphoma who are not improving after a stem cell transplant and use of targeted therapy.
  • Colorectal cancer: One type of metastatic colon cancer after treatment with three chemotherapy drugs.
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma : Opdivo may be used after treatment with Nexavar .

What Other Information Should I Know

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to nivolumab injection. For some conditions, your doctor will order a lab test before you begin your treatment to see whether your cancer can be treated with nivolumab.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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What Does Opdivo Cost

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Opdivo in your area, visit GoodRx.com.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Opdivo manufacturers website to see if they have support options.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Opdivo.

What Is Targeted Therapy Exactly

When cancer spreads and becomes life threatening, drugs known as targeted therapies may be an option for some patients. Targeted therapy can stop cancer from growing and spreading at least for a while.

Oncologists prescribe target therapy to treat some skin cancers. It may be prescribed to treat melanoma, the most-serious skin cancer, when it spreads. Targeted therapy can also treat basal cell carcinoma , the most-common skin cancer. It may be prescribed when BCC has spread and surgery or radiation treatments can no longer treat it.

Some patients with dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans , a rare type of skin cancer, also receive targeted therapy.

Targeted therapy can give cancer patients remissions that last for months and sometimes years.

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What Are Some Other Side Effects Of This Drug

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Headache.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Flu-like signs.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-. You may also report side effects at .

Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

Along with its needed effects, nivolumab may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking nivolumab:

More common

  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blurred vision
  • bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  • change or loss of taste
  • chest tightness
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling cold
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • redness, swelling, pain of the skin
  • scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • tingling of the hands and feet
  • trouble breathing
  • weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet

Less common

  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • light-colored stools
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • redness of the eye
  • swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs
  • tearing
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • lightheadedness
  • very deep pain in the eyes

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Opdivo For Liver Cancer

Opdivo is FDA-approved to treat hepatocellular cancer. Its used for people whove taken the drug sorafenib in the past to treat their liver cancer.

Effectiveness for liver cancer

Opdivo has been found effective in a clinical study to treat liver cancer. In this study, the overall response rate is 22% for those who took Opdivo. Of people whose cancer became smaller or disappeared:

  • 91% kept this response for at least 6 months
  • 55% kept this response for at least 1 year

Does Opdivo Cause Confusion

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No, Opdivo shouldnt cause confusion. In clinical studies of Opdivo, confusion wasnt a reported side effect.

However, confusion may be a symptom of rare, serious side effects of Opdivo, such as:

Also, Opdivo can cause hyponatremia . Confusion is a symptom of this condition, which was a common side effect in certain clinical studies of Opdivo.

If youre feeling disoriented or having trouble thinking clearly during Opdivo treatment, contact your doctor right away.

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Dosage For Colorectal Cancer

The usual dosage for adults with colorectal cancer is either:

  • 240 mg every 2 weeks, or
  • 480 mg every 4 weeks

The usual dosage for children ages 12 years and older is described in the section below called Pediatric dosage.

Opdivo is given at your healthcare providers office. Its given as an IV infusion that lasts 30 minutes.

Dosage for colorectal cancer when Opdivo is used in combination with ipilimumab

The usual dosage of Opdivo when its used in combination with ipilimumab is as follows:

  • Your first four doses depend on your weight. The usual dosage is 3 mg of drug per kilogram of body weight, given every 3 weeks.
  • For example, if a person weighs 150 pounds , their dose would be 3 mg of drug multiplied by 68 kilograms. This equals 204 mg of Opdivo, which is given every 3 weeks for the first four doses.
  • After your first four doses of Opdivo, the usual dosage is either 240 mg every 2 weeks or 480 mg every 4 weeks.

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