Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Pembrolizumab


Last updated on 13/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Pembrolizumab



DRUG CLASS: Antineoplastics

SUB CLASS: Monoclonal antibodies, Immune checkpoint inhibitors

USED FOR: Targeted cancer therapy, Treatment of breast cancer, Treatment of cervical cancer, Treatment of oesophageal cancer, Treatment of endometrial carcinoma, Treatment of gastric cancer, Treatment of head and neck cancer, Treatment of liver cancer, Treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma, Treatment of melanoma, Treatment of skin cancer, Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Treatment of kidney cancer, Treatment of urothelial carcinoma

– 100mg/4ml (injections)

What is Pembrolizumab for?

Pembrolizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody, belongs to a class of medications called immune checkpoint inhibitors. It works by blocking a certain protein in the body to boost your immune system for attacking cancer cells. It is a type of targeted therapy to treat many types of cancer, including but not limited to breast cancer, cervical cancer, oesophageal cancer, endometrial cancer, gastric cancer, head and neck cancer, liver cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, melanoma, skin cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and urothelial cancer.

How to use it?

Pembrolizumab is injected intravenously. The usual dose is either 200 mg every 3 weeks OR 400 mg every 6 weeks used as a monotherapy or combination therapy. The usage may be adjusted based on clinical judgement.

What are the side effects of Pembrolizumab?

Common side effects of Pembrolizumab include fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, decreased appetite, diarrhea, nausea, rash, fever, cough, dyspnea, constipation, pain, and abdominal pain.

Who should not take Pembrolizumab?

People who are allergic to Pembrolizumab or any component of the formulation.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Use effective contraception to avoid pregnancy during therapy and for at least 4 months after the last dose.
– Tell your doctor if you have had an organ transplant or stem cell transplant before using this drug.
– This drug may cause immune-related adverse effects . Seek medical help immediately if you have symptoms such as pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, and dermatologic adverse reactions (e.g. rash, vitiligo).

Common dosing schedule:

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Pembrolizumab may interact with:
No significant drug interactions.

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Pembrolizumab in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Pembrolizumab is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Pembrolizumab in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.