​​Durvalumab (Imfinzi®)

About This Drug

Durvalumab is used to treat cancer. This drug is given in the vein (IV).

Possible Side Effects

  • Tiredness
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Constipation (not able to move bowels)
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Urinary tract infection. Symptoms may include:
    • Pain or burning when you pass urine
    • Feeling like you have to pass urine often, but not much comes out when you do
    • Tender or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen
    • Cloudy urine and/or urine that smells bad
    • Pain on one side of your back under your ribs - this is where your kidneys are
    • Fever, chills, nausea and/or throwing up

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 15% or greater of patients treated with durvalumab. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Inflammation (swelling) of the lungs. You may have a dry cough or trouble breathing.
  • Colitis which is swelling in the colon. The symptoms are loose bowel movements (diarrhea) stomach cramping, and sometimes blood in the bowel movements.
  • Changes in your liver function. Your doctor will check your liver function as needed.
  • This drug may affect how your kidneys work. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
  • This drug may affect some of your hormone glands (especially the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary and pancreas). Your doctor may check your hormone levels as needed.
  • Increased risk of infection. You may get a fever and chills.
  • While you are getting this drug in your vein (IV), you may have a reaction to the drug. Sometimes you may be given medication to stop or lessen these side effects. Your nurse will check you closely for these signs: fever or shaking chills, flushing, facial swelling, feeling dizzy, headache, trouble breathing, rash, itching, chest tightness, or chest pain. These reactions may happen for 24 hours after your infusion. If this happens, call 911 for emergency care.

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day. Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals.
  • Eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • Infusion reactions may happen for 24 hours after your infusion. If this happens, call 911 for emergency care.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of durvalumab with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills, flushing
  • Wheezing, chest pain or trouble breathing
  • Facial swelling
  • Rash, itching or skin blistering
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Confusion
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking or is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • No bowel movement for 3 days or you feel uncomfortable
  • Severe pain in the stomach area
  • Pain or burning when you pass urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Feeling like you have to pass urine often, but not much comes out when you do
  • Tender or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen
  • Cloudy urine and/or urine that smells bad
  • Pain on one side of your back under your ribs - this is where your kidneys are
  • Decreased urine
  • Unusual thirst or passing urine often
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Signs of infusion reaction: fever or shaking chills, flushing, facial swelling, feeling dizzy, headache, trouble breathing, rash, itching, chest tightness, or chest pain
  • If you think you are pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. It is recommended that effective methods of birth control should be used by women of child-bearing age during cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after treatment.
  • Breast feeding warning: Women should not breast feed during treatment and for 3 month after treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.

New: May 2017

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