You are using an outdated browser. We suggest you update your browser for a better experience. Click here for update.
Close this notification.
Skip to main content Skip to search

COVID-19: Get the latest updates or take a self-assessment.

Chemotherapy and other systemic treatment regimens may change due to COVID-19. Find out more at Systemic Treatment Regimens During COVID-19.

durvalumab

( dur-VAL-ue-mab )
Funding:
New Drug Funding Program
  • Durvalumab - Locally Advanced Unresectable Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Following Concurrent Chemoradiation
Other Name(s): Imfinzi®
Appearance: solution mixed into larger bags of fluids

Medication Information Sheet
durvalumab (dur-VAL-ue-mab)
This document provides general information about your medication. It does not replace the advice of your health care professional. Always discuss your therapy with your health care professional and refer to the package insert for more details.

Other Name: Imfinzi®

Appearance:
solution

mixed into larger bags of fluids

What is this medication for?
  • For treating patients with certain types of cancers such as a type of bladder cancer called urothelial carcinoma and a type of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer.

  • Durvalumab is an immune therapy drug. For more information on immune therapy, click here.

What should I do before I have this medication?

Tell your health care team if you have or had significant medical condition(s), such as: 

  • an organ transplant

  • immune conditions (such as thyroid problems, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus)

  • liver, kidney or lung problems

  • active infections

  • problems with hormone producing glands such as your thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands or pancreas

  • diabetes

  • if you are taking corticosteroids (such as prednisone) or

  • any allergies

 

 

How will this medication affect sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding?
  • The use of this medication in men or women may cause harm to the unborn baby if pregnancy occurs. Let your health care team know if you or your partner is pregnant, becomes pregnant during treatment, or if you are breastfeeding

  • If there is any chance that you or your partner may become pregnant, you and your partner together must:

    • ► Use 2 effective forms of birth control at the same time while taking this drug. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose unless your health care team told you differently. Talk to your health care team to figure out the best method(s) for you and/or your partner.

  • Do not breastfeed while using this drug and for at least 3 months after your last dose. 
     
  • This medication may affect fertility (ability to get pregnant)
How is this medication given?
  • This drug is given by injection into a vein.

  • If you missed your treatment appointment, talk to your health care team to find out what to do.
What else do I need to know while on this medication?
  • This medication does not normally interfere with other medications. Tell your health care team about all of your medicines (prescription or over-the-counter medications, herbals and supplements). Check with your health care team before starting or stopping any of them.
     
  • For mild aches and pain:
    • You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tablets. Ask your health care team about the right dose for you. 
    • Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) or aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA), including low dose aspirin for heart conditions, may increase your chance of bleeding.
    • Talk to your health care team before you start or stop these medications.
    • If you feel unwell, take your temperature before taking any of these medications. They may hide a fever. 
    • Talk to your health care team or go to the closest emergency room right away if you have a fever.  See the Fever pamphlet for more information.
       
  • Drinking alcohol and smoking during your treatment may increase some side effects and make your medication less effective. Speak to your health care team about smoking and drinking alcohol while on treatment.
What are the side effects of this medication?
  • Durvalumab makes your immune system work harder. Your immune system is what fights infections and your cancer.
     
  • When your immune system is working harder, you may have side effects in your bowels, liver, lungs, skin, kidneys, hormones and other organs.
     
  • These side effects may be mild or may become serious or life-threatening in rare cases.
     
  • They may happen during your treatment or weeks to months after your treatment ends.
     
  • You may need urgent treatment (such as a corticosteroid for up to 4 weeks) to treat side effects

 

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
Common Side Effects (25-49 out of 100 people)

Cough; feeling short of breath

You may have cough and feel short of breath without any signs of infection, such as a sore throat or a stuffed nose.

Rarely this may be severe with chest pain, trouble breathing or coughing up blood.  If this happens get medical help right away.

Talk to your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Fever, chills, infection

You have a fever if your temperature taken in your mouth (oral temperature) is:

  • 38.3°C (100.9°F) or higher at any time OR
  • 38.0°C (or 100.4°F) or higher for at least one hour.

While you are getting chemotherapy treatments:

  • Keep a digital thermometer at home and take your temperature if you feel hot or unwell (for example, chills).
  • Avoid taking medications that treat a fever before you take your temperature (for example, Tylenol®, acetaminophen, Advil® or ibuprofen) as they may hide a fever.
  • Do not eat or drink anything hot or cold right before taking your temperature.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Check with your doctor before getting any vaccines, surgeries, medical procedures or visiting your dentist.

If you have a fever, talk to your health care team or go to the closest emergency room. 
See our Neutropenia (Low white blood cell count) pamphlet for more information.

Get emergency medical help right away

 

Side effects and what to do When to contact doctor?
Less Common Side Effects (10-24 out of 100 people)

Rash and itchiness

You may experience itching with a mild rash.

To prevent and treat dry skin,

  • Use skin moisturizer.
  • Protect your skin from the sun and the cold.
  • Use sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and a SPF of at least 30.

Talk to your health care team for advice

In rare cases, rash may be severe

  • If the rash covers more than a third of your skin (for example your whole trunk or an arm AND a leg) or your skin blisters

Talk to your health care team or go to the emergency room right away

Talk to your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Diarrhea

May happen within days to weeks after you start treatment.

If you have diarrhea:

  • Take anti-diarrhea medication if your health care team prescribed it.
  • Avoid foods or drinks with artificial sweetener (e.g. chewing gum, “diet” drinks), coffee and alcohol as they may make your diarrhea worse.
  • Eat many small meals and snacks instead of 2 or 3 large meals.
  • Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of liquids each day. Talk to your health care team if you can’t drink 6-8 cups of liquids each day when you have diarrhea. You may need special liquids with salt and sugar, called Oral Rehydration Therapy.
  • See our Diarrhea pamphlet for more information.

Talk to your health care team for advice.

In rare cases, may be severe due to inflammation of intestines

  • If you have blood in your stool or 4 to 6 bowel movements a day (if that is not normal for you)

Talk to your health care team or go to the emergency room right away.

Talk to your health care team if no improvement or if severe

Changes in thyroid activity

  • May happen in weeks to months after you receive your treatment.
  • Your doctor may monitor your thyroid function regularly with a blood test.

Underactive thyroid: Look for unusual weight gain with some of the following: Feeling tired or having low energy, dry skin, nails or hair that breaks easily, and sensitivity to cold.

Talk to your health care team as soon as possible

Pains in the belly

  • If you have constipation or diarrhea it may be causing the pain in your belly.
  • If the pain is severe, gets worse or doesn’t go away, talk to your health care team about other possible causes.
Talk to your health care team if no improvement or if severe

 

Other rare, but serious side effects are possible.
If you experience ANY of the following, speak to your cancer health care provider or get emergency medical help right away:

  • yellow skin, eyes or dark urine

  • new swelling of your body (legs, face, feet) or passing very little or no pee

  • muscle weakness or difficulty moving your arms or legs

  • numbness or tingling in your arms or legs

  • unexpected changes in your weight

  • increased sweating and/or appetite, trouble sleeping, feeling irritable or overactive

  • chills or shaking, flushing, feeling like passing out, back or neck pain or facial swelling during or shortly after your durvalumab dose

  • headaches that will not go away or unusual headaches or dizziness

  • trouble with speaking

  • lower than normal blood pressure (if you measure this at home)

  • problems with your vision, eye pain and redness

  • peeing more than normal and feeling very thirsty

  • fainting, irregular or rapid heartbeat

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • pain, swelling or hardening of a vein in your arm or leg

     

Who do I contact if I have questions or need help?           

My cancer health care provider is: ________________________________________________

During the day I should contact:__________________________________________________

Evenings, weekends and holidays:________________________________________________

 

Other Notes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For more links on how to manage your symptoms go to www.cancercareontario.ca/symptoms.

The information set out in the medication information sheets, regimen information sheets, and symptom management information (for patients) contained in the Drug Formulary (the "Formulary") is intended to be used by health professionals and patients for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or side effects of a certain drug, nor should it be used to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for a given condition.

A patient should always consult a healthcare provider if he/she has any questions regarding the information set out in the Formulary. The information in the Formulary is not intended to act as or replace medical advice and should not be relied upon in any such regard. All uses of the Formulary are subject to clinical judgment and actual prescribing patterns may not follow the information provided in the Formulary.