This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Ipilimumab contains an active component as Ipilimumab. This medication is used to treat advanced melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that has spread to other body parts. It can treat cancer of the lungs, liver, and kidneys in adults. Also used to treat colorectal cancer in adults and children (12 years and older). Cancer is a disorder in which cells multiply uncontrolled and abnormally. Like many cancer treatments, ipilimumab can cause side effects, including fatigue, diarrhea, and skin rash, but these side effects are typically manageable with appropriate medical care. 

Ipilimumab was first approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) on March 25, 2011, to treat unresectable or metastatic melanoma (a spreading type of skin cancer). It has since been approved for additional indications, including advanced renal cell carcinoma treatment. Like many cancer treatments, ipilimumab can cause side effects, including fatigue, diarrhea, and skin rash, but these side effects are typically manageable with appropriate medical care. The main benefit of ipilimumab is that it can help improve survival in patients with advanced melanoma.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Ipilimumab is a medication that works by helping the body's immune system to attack cancer cells. Specifically, it blocks a protein called CTLA-4, which normally helps regulate immune cells' activity called T cells. By blocking CTLA-4, ipilimumab allows T cells to become more active and better able to recognize and destroy cancer cells. It takes the brakes off the immune system, allowing it to fight cancer better. Doing so can help shrink tumors and improve survival in some patients with advanced melanoma.

Uses of undefined

Ipilimumab is a medication used to treat advanced melanoma, a type of skin cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also combined with other immunotherapeutic agents or chemotherapy for treating other types of cancer, such as advanced lung and kidney cancer. It is also used in the treatment of liver and colorectal cancer.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

A healthcare professional typically administers Ipilimumab through an intravenous (IV) infusion. The medication is prepared as a solution and given for about 90 minutes. The dose will depend on factors such as the patient's weight and overall health and the specific cancer being treated. Treatment is typically given in cycles, each consisting of several infusions over weeks or months. If you miss a dose of this medication, it is important to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss your options. The timing and frequency of doses can be critical in achieving the maximum benefit from the medication.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Ipilimumab can cause adverse reactions, be severe or even life-threatening, and affect any organ in the body. Examples of immune-mediated adverse reactions reported with this medication include colitis, hepatitis, dermatitis, neuropathy, and endocrinopathy. Severe or life-threatening skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, are also reported with this medication. It can also cause severe or life-threatening gastrointestinal reactions, such as colitis or diarrhea, and affect the function of the immune system, which can increase the risk of infections. Infusion reactions can occur during or shortly after the infusion of this medication. So it is important to monitor for signs and symptoms throughout treatment with this medication.


Patients with a history of allergic reactions to ipilimumab or its components should not take this medication. It can cause fetal harm during pregnancy, and it is not recommended for use in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Patients with weakened immune systems or a history of immune-related disorders may be at increased risk and should discuss their condition with their healthcare provider before starting treatment. Patients require monitoring during the infusion and for at least 30 minutes after the infusion is complete due to the risk of an infusion reaction.

Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects of ipilimumab include fatigue, diarrhea, itching, and rash. These side effects are generally mild to moderate and can usually be managed with supportive care. However, it can also cause more serious side effects, known as immune-related adverse events, which result from the activation of the immune system. Examples of immune-related adverse events associated with this include colitis (inflammation of the colon), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), dermatitis (skin reactions), and endocrinopathies (diabetes, hypothyroidism).

Word Of Advice

Ipilimumab is a powerful medication that can have potentially serious side effects. Therefore, following your healthcare provider's instructions for taking the medication and reporting any side effects or changes in your health is important. If you feel any infusion reaction, then immediately contact your doctor. If you are a woman who could become pregnant, use effective birth control during the treatment and for at least three months after the last dose. You need to talk to your physician if you are on a salt-controlled diet this medication contains sodium. It is recommended that patients undergoing cancer treatment eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limit their intake of processed and high-fat foods. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is also important.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, US Food and Drug Administration, [Revised on May 2020] [ Accessed on 15 April 2023],
  2. Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma EEIG, Electronic medicines compendium (emc), [Revised on Jan 2021] [ Accessed on 15th April],
  3. Matthew D Hellmann et al; Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab in Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer; The New England Journal of Medicine; Published on Nov 2019; Accessed on 15th April 2023];


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.