Jemperli side effects and how to avoid them
Jemperli is an FDA-approved brand name medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It is classed as a cancer treatment. While Jemperli is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Jemperli include fatigue and muscle weakness. Less common, but more serious side effects, can include liver problems and allergic reactions.
Learn more about the side effects of Jemperli and what you can do to avoid them.
What is Jemperli (dostarlimab)?
Jemperli contains the active ingredient dostarlimab-gxly, a programmed death receptor-1 inhibitor IgG4 humanized monoclonal antibody approved for:
- The treatment of adults with advanced endometrial cancer or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) recurrent, as determined by the results of an FDA-approved test, that has progressed or following prior treatment with a platinum-containing regimen, or
- Advanced solid tumors, as determined by the results of an FDA-approved test, that have progressed on or following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options
Jemperli works by binding to the PD-1 receptor blocking its interaction with the PD-1 ligands PD-L1 and PD-L2.
The indications follow an FDA review and are determined by the results from the dMMR endometrial cancer cohort A1 and the dMMR solid-tumor (non-endometrial cancer) cohort F of the ongoing GARNET trial. The GARNET study represents the largest dataset of anti-PD-1 monotherapy treatment of women with endometrial cancer.
Jemperli is available in injection form, in the following doses: 500 mg/10 mL (50 mg/mL) solution in a single-dose vial.
Doses 1 to 4 are 500 mg taken every 3 weeks. Subsequent dosing is taken 3 weeks after Dose 4. Dose 5 onwards is 1,000 mg taken every 6 weeks. Jemperli is administered as an intravenous infusion taken over 30 minutes. Patients are treated until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression.
You are advised to read the medication guide provided with this medicine for the drug information and patient information and to speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.
Jemperli side effects
The most common side effects of Jemperli in clinical trials include:
- Tiredness, muscle weakness, and muscle pain
- Anemia (low red blood cells)
- Diarrhea, constipation
- Laboratory abnormalities – decreased lymphocytes, decreased sodium, decreased albumin, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased transaminases
- Acute kidney injury or other kidney problems
- Adrenal Insufficiency
In rare instances, Jemperli can cause more serious side effects. These can include:
- Immune system problems – pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, nephritis with renal dysfunction, immune-mediated dermatologic reactions, and organ transplant rejection. Evaluate liver enzymes, creatinine, and thyroid function regularly during treatment. Withhold or permanently stop treatment and give corticosteroids depending on the severity of the reaction
- Liver problems – upper right-sided stomach pain, loss of appetite, bruising or bleeding, dark urine, black tarry stools, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- Pneumonitis – new or worsening cough, chest pain, or shortness of breath
- Infusion-related reactions
- Urinary tract infection
- Abdominal pain
- Inflammation of the brain and nervous system
- Serious and fatal complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic HSCT before or after being treated with a PD-1/PDL1–blocking antibody
- Allergic reactions – hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in your face or throat that could be life-threatening
- Hormonal disorder – unusual headaches, dizziness, feeling very weak, changes in behavior or mood, increased hunger or thirst, hoarse voice, increased urination, hair loss, constipation, feeling cold, sweating, weight gain or weight loss
- Skin problems – rash, itching, fever or flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, blisters, peeling, or skin sores, painful sores or ulcers in your nose, mouth, throat, or genital area
Your doctor will assess the benefits of using Jemperli against your risk of side effects. Patients are encouraged to report negative side effects or adverse reactions of Jemperli to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Jemperli drug interactions
There is currently no data for Jemperli interactions with other medications. However, other medications may affect dostarlimab-gxly, including prescription drugs, vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products.
Jemperli warnings & precautions
You should not use Jemperli if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient dostarlimab-gxly
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Jemperli
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant – Use effective contraception during treatment and for 4 months after your last dose
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – do not breastfeed during treatment and for 4 months after your last dose
Talk to your doctor before using Jemperli if you:
- Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Jemperli
You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Jemperli, to make sure it is safe for you.
How to avoid Jemperli side effects
The best way to avoid side effects is to take Jemperli as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not take more or less than prescribed.
If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.
1. Stick to the recommended dosage
Take your prescribed dose of Jemperli that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
2. Monitor your blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Jemperli. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.
4. Avoid alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Jemperli as it can increase your risk of dehydration and worsen side effects such as diarrhea.
5. Don’t skip meals
Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
6. Check your feet
If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience any problems with your feet while taking Jemperli.
7. Know the signs and symptoms of Jemperli side effects
Signs and symptoms of side effects include liver and kidney problems. If you experience any of the side effects above speak to your doctor for medical advice.
8. Monitor your weight
Jemperli may cause weight loss or weight gain. If you experience this side effect while taking Jemperli, get medical advice from your doctor.
9. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking
Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Jemperli.
10. Get regular medical check ups
It is important to get regular medical check ups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your side effects and may adjust your dose of Jemperli as needed.