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Generic Name: ipilimumab (IP i LIM ue mab)
Brand Names: Yervoy
Yervoy (ipilimumab) treats melanoma that cannot be treated with surgery and has not spread to other parts of the body. Includes Yervoy side effects, dosage, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Yervoy (ipilimumab) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Yervoy is used to treat melanoma (skin cancer) that cannot be treated with surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used to prevent melanoma from coming back after surgery, including lymph node removal surgery. Yervoy is also used to treat kidney cancer, sometimes given with another medicine called nivolumab (Opdivo). Yervoy is also used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, that has certain specific DNA mutations, and that has not responded to chemotherapy with other medicines. Learn more

Yervoy Side Effects

Yervoy Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about ipilimumab. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Yervoy.

For the Consumer

Applies to ipilimumab: intravenous solution


Intravenous route (Solution)

Ipilimumab can result in severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions. Reactions may involve any organ system and manifest during treatment or weeks to months after discontinuation. The most common severe reactions are enterocolitis, hepatitis, dermatitis (including toxic epidermal necrolysis), neuropathy, and endocrinopathy. Assess patients for signs and symptoms of severe reactions and evaluate clinical chemistries (eg, liver function tests, adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, thyroid function tests) at baseline and before each dose. Permanently discontinue ipilimumab and initiate systemic high-dose corticosteroid therapy for severe immune-mediated reactions.

Along with its needed effects, ipilimumab (the active ingredient contained in Yervoy) 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 ipilimumab:

More common

  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • itching, skin rash
  • nausea
  • severe stomach pain, cramping, or burning
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds, severe and continuing
  • watery or bloody diarrhea

Less common

  • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision or other changes in vision
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • burning, tingling, numbness or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • cough
  • cracked, dry, or scaly skin
  • dark urine
  • darkening of the skin
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • difficulty with breathing, chewing, swallowing, or talking
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • drowsiness
  • eye discharge or excessive tearing
  • eye pain or sensitivity to light
  • fainting
  • headache, possibly severe
  • hives or welts
  • loss of appetite
  • mental depression
  • muscle weakness
  • pain, itching, burning, swelling, bleeding, or a lump under the skin where the needle was placed
  • painful or difficult urination
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • sensation of pins and needles
  • severe tiredness
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stabbing pain
  • stomach tenderness
  • swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs
  • swollen glands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin


  • Anxiety
  • bloating
  • blue or pale skin
  • chest pain, possibly moving to the left arm, neck, or shoulder
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • difficulty with moving
  • fast heartbeat
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • increased thirst
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • muscle weakness
  • pain or burning in the throat
  • pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  • pains in the stomach or side, possibly radiating to the back
  • skin irritation or rash, including rash that looks like psoriasis
  • sores, welts, or blisters on the skin
  • stiff neck or back

Incidence not known

  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • bleeding gums
  • general body swelling
  • inability to move the arms and legs
  • nosebleeds
  • throbbing pain

Some side effects of ipilimumab may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Headache
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ipilimumab: intravenous solution


The most common side effects were diarrhea, rash, pruritus, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, and colitis.


Common (1% to 10%): Sepsis, oral candidiasis, cellulitis, contrast media allergy, seasonal allergy

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Septic shock, cytokine release syndrome, positive antinuclear antibody

Rare (less than 0.1%): Sarcoidosis


Common (1% to 10%): Infectious hepatitis, increased blood bilirubin, increased alanine aminotransferase, increased aspartate aminotransferase, abnormal hepatic function, hepatic failure, hepatomegaly, jaundice

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Autoimmune hepatitis, increased gamma-glutamyltransferase


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, flushing, hypertension, hematoma, venous thrombosis, hemorrhage, lymphedema, hot flush

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Orthostatic hypotension, pericardial effusion

Rare (less than 0.1%): Myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, angiopathy, peripheral ischemia, vasculitis, temporal arteritis, Raynaud's phenomenon


Very common (10% or more): Pruritus (up to 33%), rash (up to 30%)

Common (1% to 10%): Erythema, vitiligo, alopecia, dry skin, night sweats, dermatitis, urticaria, eczema, skin hypopigmentation, contusion, excoriation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Toxic epidermal necrolysis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, skin exfoliation, erythema multiforme, psoriasis, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, erythema nodosum, hair color changes


Common (1% to 10%): Decreased blood corticotrophin, hypopituitarism (including hypophysitis), hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, hyperthyroidism

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood thyroid stimulating hormone, decreased blood cortisol, decreased blood testosterone, hypogonadism, thyroiditis, hypoparathyroidism, decreased blood thyroid stimulating hormone, decreased blood gonadotrophin, decreased thyroxin, abnormal blood prolactin, hypocalcemia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Secondary adrenocortical insufficiency, hyperpituitarism, autoimmune thyroiditis


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 38%), vomiting (up to 24%), abdominal pain (up to 23%), nausea

Common (1% to 10%): Colitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomatitis, dysphagia, retching, gastroenteritis, increased lipase, large intestine perforation, proctitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood amylase, gastrointestinal perforation, large intestinal ulcer, esophagitis, ileus, diverticulitis, gastric ulcer, enterocolitis, pancreatitis, peritonitis


Common (1% to 10%): Lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, lymphopenia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hemolytic anemia, leucopenia, lymphocytosis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Polycythemia

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Lethargy, tremor, brain edema, cranial neuropathy, peripheral sensory neuropathy, aphasia, dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Guillain-Barré syndrome, meningitis (aseptic), syncope, ataxia, tremor, myoclonus, dysarthria, myasthenia gravis-like syndrome

Rare (less than 0.1%): Meninginism, autoimmune central neuropathy (encephalitis), neurosensory hypoacusis


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision, conjunctivitis, uveitis, eye pain, dry eye

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vitreous hemorrhage, iritis, reduced visual acuity, foreign body sensation in eyes, blepharitis, paresthesia, hypoesthesia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Episcleritis, scleritis, eye edema, ocular myositis


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 42%), pyrexia (up to 13%)

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, chills, asthenia, edema, pain, influenza-like illness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Multi-organ failure, infusion related reaction, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, mucosal inflammation


Common (1% to 10%): Renal failure, hematuria, increased blood creatinine

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Glomerulonephritis, renal tubular acidosis, urinary tract infection

Rare (less than 0.1%): Immune-mediated nephritis, proteinuria, renal dysfunction


Very common (10% or more): Cough (up to 17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection, oropharyngeal pain, wheezing, nasal disorder, sinus, congestion, dyspnea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung infiltration, pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Amenorrhea


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Anaphylactic reaction


Very common (10% or more): Injection site reaction (up to 50%)

Common (1% to 10%): Vaccination site reaction


Very common (10% or more): Decreased appetite (up to 27%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypokalemia, hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, hyponatremia, decreased weight, dehydration, type 1 diabetes mellitus

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Alkalosis, hypophosphatemia, tumor lysis syndrome

Rare (less than 0.1%): Tumor lysis syndrome


Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia, muscle spasms

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthralgia, musculoskeletal pain, arthritis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Polymyalgia rheumatica, myositis, polymyositis


Common (1% to 10%): Tumor pain, cancer pain

Frequency not reported: Paraneoplastic syndrome


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety, decreased libido, confusional state

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Mental status changes

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Yervoy