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Drug Interactions

Ipilimumab may react with a few other medicines (see Drug Interactions With Ipilimumab).

What If I Overdose on This Medicine?

It is not entirely clear what to expect from an overdose with ipilimumab. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else may have received too much.
(Click Yervoy Overdose for more information.)

What If I Miss a Dose of Ipilimumab?

If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of ipilimumab, contact your healthcare provider right away to reschedule. It is important to try and keep all of your healthcare appointments while receiving this medication.

How Does It Work?

An antibody (also known as an immunoglobulin) is a protein made by the immune system. Antibodies bind to substances in the body called antigens. Ipilimumab is a synthetic antibody that binds to and blocks the actions of an antigen called the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4).
CTLA-4 normally inhibits T cells (also called T-lymphocytes), a type of white blood cell that protects the body against disease by destroying infected cells, including cancer cells. By inhibiting T cells, CTLA-4 slows down the immune system's ability to attack cancerous cells. When CTLA-4 is blocked by ipilimumab, T cells increase in numbers and become active, giving the body a better chance at fighting melanoma cancer cells.

Clinical Effects

In a clinical study, ipilimumab was shown to extend survival in people with late-stage melanoma who had stopped responding to other anticancer treatments. In this study, people were randomly given one of three treatments: ipilimumab with an experimental vaccine, ipilimumab alone, or the experimental vaccine alone.
People who received ipilimumab and the vaccine or ipilimumab alone lived an average of 10 months after starting treatment. In comparison, people who received just the experimental vaccine lived an average of 6.5 months.
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Ipilimumab Drug Information

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