Daily Medication Pearl: Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)


Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) can be used for multiple cancer types, including melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and head and neck squamous cell cancer.

Medication Pearl of the Day: Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

Indication: Pembrolizumab can be used for melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, urothelial carcinoma, gastric cancer, cervical cancer, renal cell carcinoma, esophageal cancer, hepatocellular cancer, endometrial cancer, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and others.


  • Dosing: May vary per each indication, however it’s usually 200 mg every 3 weeks or 400 mg every 6 weeks.
  • Dosage form: Injection 100 mg/4 mL (25 mg/mL) solution in a single-dose vial.
  • Adverse events: May include pruritis, diarrhea, constipation, pain, alopecia, neutropenia, headache, weight loss, vomiting, and arthralgia.
  • Mechanism of action: Pembrolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and PD-L2, releasing programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway-mediated inhibition of the immune response, including the anti-tumor immune response.
  • Manufacturer: Merck


  1. keytruda_pi.pdf (merck.com)
  2. KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)
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