Cancer Rx Can Now Treat Adolescents

Yervoy (ipilimumab) approved to treat skin cancer in adolescents

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the uses for a common skin cancer medication.

The FDA approved Yervoy (ipilimumab) to treat skin cancer in patients 12 years old and older if the skin cancer has spread (metastasized) or cannot be removed by surgery.

In 2011, Yervoy was approved to treat adults who had skin cancer that had metastasized or could not be surgically removed.

Yervoy's green light for use in adolescents comes after two clinical trials found that the medication appeared safe for this age group.

Ipilimumab is available as an injection to be administered into a vein. It's typically administered every three weeks for a total of four doses. Common side effects may include feeling tired, diarrhea, itchy skin, headache and weight loss.

Yervoy comes with a boxed warning regarding a risk of severe immune-mediated adverse reactions that may involve any organ system in the body. The most common involve the intestines, liver, skin, nerves and endocrine system (hormone glands).

If you have advanced skin cancer, speak with your health care provider about the best treatment for you.

Bristol-Myers Squibb manufactures Yervoy.

Written By Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS