Used for Cancer

View KEYTRUDA savings options available to you including Manufacturer Coupons, Rx Advantage Savings Card, Canadian Prescription Savings or KEYTRUDA Patient Assistance Program.

Programs are suitable for individuals who want to buy KEYTRUDA without insurance, with insurance or for those who are underinsured. You can pay as little as $0 per fill.*

Manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc.

*Applicable to Drug Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs

This content is intended for US audiences only

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Jamie Winn NowPatientGreen tick
Updated on 26 Apr 2024

Learn more about KEYTRUDA



KEYTRUDA is the brand name for pembrolizumab and is available as an injection for IV use.

What dosages is KEYTRUDA available in?

What dosages is KEYTRUDA available in?

KEYTRUDA is available as a 100 mg/4 mL (25 mg/mL) injection for IV use.

What is KEYTRUDA used for?

What is KEYTRUDA used for?

KEYTRUDA is a PD-1 inhibitor and is used for the following:

  • Melanoma
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Biliary tract cancer
  • Renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial carcinoma (uterine cancer)
  • Triple-negative breast cancer
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell skin carcinoma
  • Cancers with high tumor mutation burden (TMB-H), high microsatellite instability (MSI-H), or deficient mismatch repair (dMMR)
How does KEYTRUDA work?

How does KEYTRUDA work?

KEYTRUDA is an immunotherapy medication that blocks the PD-1 pathway. It’s also called a PD-1 inhibitor or checkpoint inhibitor. By blocking the PD-1 pathway, KEYTRUDA helps the immune system find and recognize cancer cells again. As a result, the immune system can attack and kill the cancer cells and stop the cancer from growing.

How do I take KEYTRUDA?

How do I take KEYTRUDA?

KEYTRUDA is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion at a medical office or infusion center. Your dose depends on your treatment plan.

  • Adults: The typical dose is either 200 mg given IV once every 3 weeks OR 400 mg given IV once every 6 weeks. Whether you take KEYTRUDA by itself or together with other anticancer therapies depends on your cancer
  • Children (for certain cancers only): The dose is calculated based on body weight (kg). The typical dose is 2 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 200 mg) given IV once every 3 weeks
Is it safe for me to take KEYTRUDA?

Is it safe for me to take KEYTRUDA?

KEYTRUDA is a safe and effective treatment when used for FDA licensed indications. However, like all medications, they may give you unwanted side effects. You should always discuss potential side effects with your physician to ensure the medication is suitable and right for you.

KEYTRUDA Common Side Effects

KEYTRUDA Common Side Effects

Common side effects of KEYTRUDA:

  • Higher blood sugar
  • Anemia
  • Higher liver enzyme levels
  • Electrolyte changes in blood
  • Lower white blood cells
  • Tiredness
  • Lower appetite
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
KEYTRUDA Serious Side Effects

KEYTRUDA Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects are rare with KEYTRUDA. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following.

  • Serious immune-related side effects: rash, diarrhea, trouble breathing, chest pain, severe stomach pain, mucus or blood in stool
  • Serious reaction during infusion: chills, fever, itching, fast heartbeat, trouble breathing
Effects of other drugs, drug classes and over-the-counter products on KEYTRUDA

Effects of other drugs, drug classes and over-the-counter products on KEYTRUDA

There are no major drug interactions listed for KEYTRUDA. However, always let your physician and pharmacist know about any other medications or supplements (including prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements) that you are currently taking.

Who makes KEYTRUDA?

Who makes KEYTRUDA?

Merck & Co., Inc.

Is KEYTRUDA safe in pregnancy?

Is KEYTRUDA safe in pregnancy?

Based on its mechanism of action, KEYTRUDA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Females should have a pregnancy test before starting KEYTRUDA and use effective contraception during treatment and for 4 months after the last dose.


What to do if you missed your KEYTRUDA dose

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Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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