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What Is Ipilimumab Used For?

How Does This Medicine 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.
 

Can Children Use Ipilimumab?

Ipilimumab is only approved for use in individuals at least 18 years of age, as it has not been adequately studied in people younger than this. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the particular benefits and risks of using ipilimumab in children.
 

Is It Safe for Older Adults?

Ipilimumab can be used in older adults. In clinical studies, there was no difference in how well the medicine worked or was tolerated when comparing older and younger adults. However, some older adults may be more sensitive to ipilimumab side effects.
 

Is Ipilimumab Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, healthcare providers may recommend medications for something other than the approved uses. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label uses for ipilimumab.
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Ipilimumab Drug Information

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