WARNING: IMMUNE-MEDIATED ADVERSE REACTIONS
YERVOY (ipilimumab) can result in severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions. These immune-mediated reactions may involve any organ system; however, the most common severe immune-mediated adverse reactions are enterocolitis, hepatitis, dermatitis (including toxic epidermal necrolysis), neuropathy, and endocrinopathy. The majority of these immune-mediated reactions initially manifested during treatment; however, a minority occurred weeks to months after discontinuation of YERVOY.
Assess patients for signs and symptoms of enterocolitis, dermatitis, neuropathy, and endocrinopathy and evaluate clinical chemistries including liver function tests (LFTs), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level, and thyroid function tests, at baseline and before each dose.
Permanently discontinue YERVOY and initiate systemic high-dose corticosteroid therapy for severe immune-mediated reactions.
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Recommended Dose Modifications
Interrupt or slow the rate of infusion in patients with mild or moderate infusion reactions. Discontinue in patients with severe or life-threatening infusion reactions.
Endocrine: Withhold YERVOY for symptomatic endocrinopathy. Resume YERVOY in patients with complete or partial resolution of adverse reactions (Grade 0-1) and who are receiving <7.5 mg prednisone or equivalent per day. Permanently discontinue YERVOY for symptomatic reactions lasting 6 weeks or longer or an inability to reduce corticosteroid dose to 7.5 mg prednisone or equivalent per day.
Ophthalmologic: Permanently discontinue YERVOY for Grade 2-4 reactions not improving to Grade 1 within 2 weeks while receiving topical therapy or requiring systemic treatment.
All Other Organ Systems: Withhold YERVOY for Grade 2 adverse reactions. Resume YERVOY in patients with complete or partial resolution of adverse reactions (Grade 0-1) and who are receiving <7.5 mg prednisone or equivalent per day. Permanently discontinue YERVOY for Grade 2 reactions lasting 6 weeks or longer, an inability to reduce corticosteroid dose to 7.5 mg prednisone or equivalent per day, and Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions.
Immune-mediated enterocolitis, including fatal cases, can occur with YERVOY. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of enterocolitis (such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, mucus or blood in stool, with or without fever) and of bowel perforation (such as peritoneal signs and ileus). In symptomatic patients, rule out infectious etiologies and consider endoscopic evaluation for persistent or severe symptoms. Withhold YERVOY for moderate enterocolitis; administer anti-diarrheal treatment and, if persistent for >1 week, initiate systemic corticosteroids (0.5 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent). Permanently discontinue YERVOY in patients with severe enterocolitis and initiate systemic corticosteroids (1-2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent). Upon improvement to ≤Grade 1, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue over at least 1 month. In clinical trials, rapid corticosteroid tapering resulted in recurrence or worsening symptoms of enterocolitis in some patients. Consider adding anti-TNF or other immunosuppressant agents for management of immune-mediated enterocolitis unresponsive to systemic corticosteroids within 3-5 days or recurring after symptom improvement, if other causes are excluded. In patients receiving YERVOY 3 mg/kg in MDX010-20, severe, life-threatening, or fatal (diarrhea of ≥7 stools above baseline, fever, ileus, peritoneal signs; Grade 3-5) immune-mediated enterocolitis occurred in 34 YERVOY-treated patients (7%) and moderate (diarrhea with up to 6 stools above baseline, abdominal pain, mucus or blood in stool; Grade 2) enterocolitis occurred in 28 YERVOY-treated patients (5%). Across all YERVOY-treated patients (n=511), 5 (1%) developed intestinal perforation, 4 (0.8%) died as a result of complications, and 26 (5%) were hospitalized for severe enterocolitis. Infliximab was administered to 5 (8%) of the 62 patients with moderate, severe, or life-threatening immune-mediated enterocolitis following inadequate response to corticosteroids. In patients receiving YERVOY 10 mg/kg in CA184-029, Grade 3-5 immune-mediated enterocolitis occurred in 76 patients (16%) and Grade 2 enterocolitis occurred in 68 patients (14%). Seven (1.5%) developed intestinal perforation and 3 patients (0.6%) died as a result of complications.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies. Addition of an alternative immunosuppressive agent to the corticosteroid therapy, or replacement of the corticosteroid therapy, should be considered in corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis if other causes are excluded.
Immune-mediated hepatitis, including fatal cases, can occur with YERVOY. Monitor LFTs (hepatic transaminase and bilirubin levels) and assess patients for signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity before each dose of YERVOY. In patients with hepatotoxicity, rule out infectious or malignant causes and increase frequency of LFT monitoring until resolution. Withhold YERVOY in patients with Grade 2 hepatotoxicity. Permanently discontinue YERVOY in patients with Grade 3-4 hepatotoxicity and administer systemic corticosteroids (1-2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent). When LFTs show sustained improvement or return to baseline, initiate corticosteroid tapering and continue over 1 month. Across the clinical development program for YERVOY, mycophenolate treatment has been administered in patients with persistent severe hepatitis despite high-dose corticosteroids. In patients receiving YERVOY 3 mg/kg in MDX010-20, severe, life-threatening, or fatal hepatotoxicity (AST or ALT elevations >5× the ULN or total bilirubin elevations >3× the ULN; Grade 3-5) occurred in 8 YERVOY-treated patients (2%), with fatal hepatic failure in 0.2% and hospitalization in 0.4%. An additional 13 patients (2.5%) experienced moderate hepatotoxicity manifested by LFT abnormalities (AST or ALT elevations >2.5× but ≤5× the ULN or total bilirubin elevation >1.5× but ≤3× the ULN; Grade 2). In a dose-finding trial, Grade 3 increases in transaminases with or without concomitant increases in total bilirubin occurred in 6 of 10 patients who received concurrent YERVOY (3 mg/kg) and vemurafenib (960 mg BID or 720 mg BID). In patients receiving YERVOY 10 mg/kg in CA184-029, Grade 3-4 immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 51 patients (11%) and moderate Grade 2 immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 22 patients (5%). Liver biopsy performed in 6 patients with Grade 3-4 hepatitis showed evidence of toxic or autoimmune hepatitis.
Immune-mediated dermatitis, including fatal cases, can occur with YERVOY. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of dermatitis such as rash and pruritus. Unless an alternate etiology has been identified, signs or symptoms of dermatitis should be considered immune-mediated. Treat mild to moderate dermatitis (e.g., localized rash and pruritus) symptomatically; administer topical or systemic corticosteroids if there is no improvement within 1 week. Withhold YERVOY in patients with moderate to severe signs and symptoms. Permanently discontinue YERVOY in patients with severe, life-threatening, or fatal immune-mediated dermatitis (Grade 3-5). Administer systemic corticosteroids (1-2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent). When dermatitis is controlled, corticosteroid tapering should occur over a period of at least 1 month. In patients receiving YERVOY 3 mg/kg in MDX010-20, severe, life-threatening, or fatal immune-mediated dermatitis (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, or rash complicated by full thickness dermal ulceration, or necrotic, bullous, or hemorrhagic manifestations; Grade 3-5) occurred in 13 YERVOY-treated patients (2.5%); 1 patient (0.2%) died as a result of toxic epidermal necrolysis and 1 additional patient required hospitalization for severe dermatitis. There were 63 patients (12%) with moderate (Grade 2) dermatitis. In patients receiving YERVOY 10 mg/kg in CA184-029, Grade 3-4 immune-mediated dermatitis occurred in 19 patients (4%). There were 99 patients (21%) with moderate Grade 2 dermatitis.
Immune-mediated neuropathies, including fatal cases, can occur with YERVOY. Monitor for symptoms of motor or sensory neuropathy such as unilateral or bilateral weakness, sensory alterations, or paresthesia. Withhold YERVOY in patients with moderate neuropathy (not interfering with daily activities). Permanently discontinue YERVOY in patients with severe neuropathy (interfering with daily activities), such as Guillain-Barré-like syndromes. Institute medical intervention as appropriate for management for severe neuropathy. Consider initiation of systemic corticosteroids (1-2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent) for severe neuropathies. In patients receiving YERVOY 3 mg/kg in MDX010-20, 1 case of fatal Guillain-Barré syndrome and 1 case of severe (Grade 3) peripheral motor neuropathy were reported. Across the clinical development program of YERVOY, myasthenia gravis and additional cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome have been reported. In patients receiving YERVOY 10 mg/kg in CA184-029, Grade 3-5 immune-mediated neuropathy occurred in 8 patients (2%); the sole fatality was due to complications of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Moderate Grade 2 immune-mediated neuropathy occurred in 1 patient (0.2%).
Immune-mediated endocrinopathies, including life-threatening cases, can occur with YERVOY. Monitor patients for clinical signs and symptoms of hypophysitis, adrenal insufficiency (including adrenal crisis), and hyper- or hypothyroidism. Patients may present with fatigue, headache, mental status changes, abdominal pain, unusual bowel habits, and hypotension, or nonspecific symptoms which may resemble other causes such as brain metastasis or underlying disease. Unless an alternate etiology has been identified, signs or symptoms should be considered immune-mediated. Monitor clinical chemistries, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level, and thyroid function tests at the start of treatment, before each dose, and as clinically indicated based on symptoms. In a limited number of patients, hypophysitis was diagnosed by imaging studies through enlargement of the pituitary gland. Withhold YERVOY in symptomatic patients and consider referral to an endocrinologist. Initiate systemic corticosteroids (1-2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent) and initiate appropriate hormone replacement therapy. In patients receiving YERVOY 3 mg/kg in MDX010-20, severe to life-threatening immune-mediated endocrinopathies (requiring hospitalization, urgent medical intervention, or interfering with activities of daily living; Grade 3-4) occurred in 9 YERVOY-treated patients (1.8%). All 9 patients had hypopituitarism, and some had additional concomitant endocrinopathies such as adrenal insufficiency, hypogonadism, and hypothyroidism. Six of the 9 patients were hospitalized for severe endocrinopathies. Moderate endocrinopathy (requiring hormone replacement or medical intervention; Grade 2) occurred in 12 patients (2.3%) and consisted of hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism, and 1 case each of hyperthyroidism and Cushing's syndrome. The median time to onset of moderate to severe immune-mediated endocrinopathy was 2.5 months and ranged up to 4.4 months after the initiation of YERVOY. In patients receiving YERVOY 10 mg/kg in CA184-029, Grade 3-4 immune-mediated endocrinopathies occurred in 39 patients (8%) and Grade 2 immune-mediated endocrinopathies occurred in 93 patients (20%). Of the 39 patients with Grade 3-4 immune-mediated endocrinopathies, 35 patients had hypopituitarism (associated with 1 or more secondary endocrinopathies, e.g., adrenal insufficiency, hypogonadism, and hypothyroidism), 3 patients had hyperthyroidism, and 1 had primary hypothyroidism. The median time to onset of Grade 3-4 immune-mediated endocrinopathy was 2.2 months (range: 2 days-8 months). Twenty-seven (69.2%) of the 39 patients were hospitalized for immune-mediated endocrinopathies. Of the 93 patients with Grade 2 immune-mediated endocrinopathy, 74 had primary hypopituitarism (associated with 1 or more secondary endocrinopathy, e.g., adrenal insufficiency, hypogonadism, and hypothyroidism), 9 had primary hypothyroidism, 3 had hyperthyroidism, 3 had thyroiditis with hypo- or hyperthyroidism, 2 had hypogonadism, 1 had both hyperthyroidism and hypopituitarism, and 1 subject developed Graves’ ophthalmopathy. The median time to onset of Grade 2 immune-mediated endocrinopathy was 2.1 months (range: 9 days-19.3 months).
Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
Permanently discontinue YERVOY for clinically significant or severe immune-mediated adverse reactions. Initiate systemic corticosteroids (1-2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent) for severe immune-mediated adverse reactions. Monitor patients for signs or symptoms of ocular toxicity, which may include blurred vision and reduced visual acuity. Immune-mediated ocular toxicity may be associated with retinal detachment or permanent vision loss. Administer corticosteroid eye drops for uveitis, iritis, or episcleritis. Permanently discontinue YERVOY for immune-mediated ocular disease unresponsive to local immunosuppressive therapy. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, which has been observed in patients receiving YERVOY and may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss. Fatal or serious graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can occur in patients who receive a CTLA-4 receptor blocking antibody either before or after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Follow patients closely for evidence of GVHD and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit versus risks of treatment with a CTLA-4 receptor blocking antibody after allogeneic HSCT. In MDX010-20, the following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions were seen in <1% of YERVOY-treated patients: cytopenias, nephritis, pneumonitis, meningitis, pericarditis, uveitis, and iritis. In CA184-029, the following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions were seen in <1% of YERVOY-treated patients unless specified: cytopenias, eosinophilia (2.1%), pancreatitis (1.3%), meningitis, pneumonitis, sarcoidosis, pericarditis, uveitis, and fatal myocarditis. Across 21 dose-ranging trials administering YERVOY at doses of 0.1 to 20 mg/kg (n=2478), the following likely immune-mediated adverse reactions were also reported with <1% incidence unless specified: angiopathy, temporal arteritis, vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, episcleritis, scleritis, iritis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, erythema multiforme, psoriasis, arthritis, autoimmune thyroiditis, neurosensory hypoacusis, autoimmune central neuropathy (encephalitis), myositis, polymyositis, ocular myositis, cytopenias (2.5%), and nephritis.
Based on its mechanism of action, YERVOY can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The effects of YERVOY are likely to be greater during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with YERVOY and for 3 months after the last dose.
It is not known whether YERVOY is secreted in human milk. Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with YERVOY and for 3 months after the last dose.
Common Adverse Reactions
The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) in patients who received YERVOY at 3 mg/kg were fatigue (41%), diarrhea (32%), pruritus (31%), rash (29%), and colitis (8%). The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) in patients who received YERVOY at 10 mg/kg were rash (50%), diarrhea (49%), fatigue (46%), pruritus (45%), headache (33%), weight loss (32%), nausea (25%), pyrexia (18%), colitis (16%), decreased appetite (14%), vomiting (13%), and insomnia (10%).
Please see U.S. Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING regarding immune-mediated adverse reactions. , and Medication Guide