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Opdualag (Generic Nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

In adults and children 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 40 kg, nivolumab plus relatlimab are used to treat specific kinds of melanoma (a type of skin cancer) that have spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed surgically. The drugs nivolumab and relatlimab are members of the monoclonal antibody drug class. They function by supporting your immune system’s ability to inhibit or stop the growth of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

In a hospital or other medical institution, a doctor or nurse will provide nivolumab or relatlimab as a solution (liquid) that is injected intravenously (into a vein) over the course of 30 minutes. As long as your doctor advises you to undergo treatment, it is typically given every four weeks.

During an infusion, nivolumab plus relatlimab may result in severe or fatal responses. In order to ensure you are not having a harmful reaction to the medication, a doctor or nurse will keep a close eye on you both during and immediately after the infusion. If any of the following symptoms which could appear during the infusion occur to you: chills or trembling, itching, rash, flushing, breathing difficulties, dizziness, fever, or a sense of faintness, you should contact your doctor or nurse very away.

Depending on your reaction to the medication and any side effects you encounter, your doctor may slow down, delay, or halt your infusion of nivolumab and relatlimab injection, or provide more treatments. Tell your doctor how you are feeling as you receive treatment.

Other uses for this medicine

Therefore, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional or refer to updated medical literature for the most current information on the potential uses of nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions, both nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw come with certain considerations:

  • Immune-related Side Effects: These medications work by stimulating the immune system, which can sometimes lead to immune-related side effects. These can affect various organs and systems in the body and may include rash, fatigue, diarrhea, pneumonitis (lung inflammation), colitis (inflammation of the colon), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), endocrine disorders, and others. It’s important to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider.
  • Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Inform your healthcare provider about any pre-existing medical conditions you have, including autoimmune disorders, liver or kidney problems, or any other significant health issues. These medications may not be suitable for everyone, and your healthcare provider will assess the potential benefits and risks before prescribing them.
  • Medication Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with nivolumab or relatlimab-rmbw. Some medications may affect their effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of these medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well established. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

These are general precautions, and it’s crucial to follow the specific guidance provided by your healthcare provider for your individual circumstances. They will consider your medical history and assess the suitability of these medications for you.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw do not have specific dietary restrictions. However, it’s important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to support your overall well-being and immune function during cancer treatment. Your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian can provide personalized dietary recommendations based on your specific needs and any potential side effects you may experience.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of nivolumab or relatlimab-rmbw, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider or treatment team as soon as possible for guidance. They will be able to advise you on the appropriate course of action based on the specific treatment plan and the duration since the missed dose. It’s generally not recommended to take a double dose to make up for a missed one unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw, like any medication, can cause side effects. The specific side effects and their severity can vary from person to person. It’s important to note that not all individuals will experience side effects, and some side effects may be rare but serious. It’s essential to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider, as they can provide personalized information based on your specific situation. Here are some common side effects associated with nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw:

Common side effects of Nivolumab:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Rash or itching
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headache

Common side effects of Relatlimab-rmbw (in combination with nivolumab):

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash or itching
  • Nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Joint pain

It’s important to note that these lists are not exhaustive, and there may be additional side effects associated with these medications. Furthermore, these medications can also cause immune-related side effects that may affect various organs and systems in the body. These can include pneumonitis (lung inflammation), colitis (inflammation of the colon), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), endocrine disorders, and others. It’s crucial to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider.

It’s important to discuss potential side effects and their management strategies with your healthcare provider before starting treatment. They will closely monitor your progress and help manage any side effects that may occur.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage of Nivolumab and Relatlimab-rmbw:

  • Follow the storage instructions provided by the manufacturer or your healthcare provider. Typically, these medications should be stored in a refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). Protect them from light.
  • Do not freeze these medications. Freezing may damage their effectiveness.
  • If you are given these medications for home use, your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions on storage and handling. Follow those instructions carefully.

Disposal of Nivolumab and Relatlimab-rmbw:

  • Properly dispose of any unused or expired medication. Do not keep medications that are no longer needed.
  • Follow local regulations or guidelines for medication disposal in your area. You can consult your pharmacist or local waste management authorities for information on safe disposal methods.
  • Do not dispose of medications in household trash or flush them down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an emergency or suspected overdose, immediately contact your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • It is essential to have the medication label or packaging readily available for medical professionals to review the specific details of the medication and its dosage.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform all healthcare professionals involved in your care, including doctors, dentists, and pharmacists, that you are receiving nivolumab or relatlimab-rmbw. This is important to ensure coordinated care and minimize the risk of potential drug interactions.
  • Keep a record of all medications you are taking, including the specific names, doses, and schedules. This can help you and your healthcare provider keep track of your treatment plan.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments and follow-up visits as directed by your healthcare provider. Regular monitoring and assessment are essential to evaluate the effectiveness of the medication and manage any potential side effects.

Remember, the information provided here is not exhaustive, and it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for specific instructions, guidelines, and any additional information regarding the storage, disposal, emergencies/overdose, or other aspects of nivolumab and relatlimab-rmbw.

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