Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Durvalumab (Imfinzi) are two immunotherapy drugs that are used to treat certain types of cancer. These drugs work by stimulating the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. While both drugs can be effective in treating cancer, they can also cause side effects. In this answer, we will discuss some of the common side effects of Keytruda and Durvalumab and how patients can manage these side effects.
Common Side Effects of Keytruda and Durvalumab
The side effects of Keytruda and Durvalumab can vary depending on the individual and the type of cancer being treated. However, some of the common side effects of these drugs include:
Fatigue: Many patients report feeling tired or weak after receiving Keytruda or Durvalumab.
Skin problems: Skin problems, such as rash, itching, and dryness, are common side effects of both drugs.
Digestive problems: Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
Respiratory problems: Patients may experience shortness of breath or coughing.
Joint pain: Patients may experience joint pain or swelling.
Endocrine problems: In some cases, Keytruda and Durvalumab can affect the endocrine system, causing problems such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Infusion reactions: Some patients may experience an allergic reaction during or after infusion.
Managing Side Effects of Keytruda and Durvalumab
Talk to your doctor: The first step in managing side effects is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess the severity of your side effects and suggest appropriate treatments.
Follow a healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the severity of side effects. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough rest.
Use medication: Medications such as pain relievers, antihistamines, and anti-nausea drugs can help manage side effects. Patients should only take medications that have been prescribed by their doctor.
Manage skin problems: To manage skin problems, patients should avoid using harsh soaps or skincare products. They should also use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outside.
Manage digestive problems: Patients should eat small, frequent meals and avoid spicy or fatty foods that can aggravate digestive problems.
Manage respiratory problems: Patients should avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. They should also avoid allergens or irritants that can trigger respiratory problems.
Manage joint pain: Patients can manage joint pain by getting regular exercise, using hot or cold therapy, and taking pain relievers as prescribed by their doctor.
Manage endocrine problems: Patients with endocrine problems may need to take hormone replacement therapy or other medications to manage their symptoms.
Manage infusion reactions: Infusion reactions can be managed by slowing down the infusion, administering medications such as antihistamines or steroids, or stopping the infusion altogether.
Follow up with your doctor: It is important for patients to follow up with their doctor regularly to monitor their progress and manage side effects.
In conclusion, while Keytruda and Durvalumab can be effective in treating cancer, they can also cause side effects. Patients can manage these side effects by following a healthy lifestyle, taking medication as prescribed, and working closely with their doctor. By doing so, patients can minimize the impact of side effects and continue to receive the benefits of these important cancer treatments.