Nivolumab (Trade name: Opdivo) – Chemotherapy Drug Used In Lung Cancer Treatment

Nivolumab is a monoclonal antibody for lung cancer. It is a Immune checkpoint inhibitor. it is available with the trade name of Opdivo. It mainly acts by inhibiting interaction between PD-L1 and PD-L2 ligands with PD-1 receptor.

Picture of Nivolumab

Availability, dosage and administration

Nivolumab is available in injectable form.


It is available in injectable form, IV solution 40mg/4ml (10 mg/ml) and 100 mg/10ml (10mg/ml).


The recommended dose of Nivolumab depends on the indication or its use. For Lung cancer, the recommended dose is 240 mg, IV given 2 weeks.


  • Unresectable or metastatic Malignant Melanoma.
  • Metastatic squamous Non-small cell Lung cancer
  • Renal cell cancer
  • Urothelial carcinoma
  • Recurrent Head and neck cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Metastatic colorectal carcinoma.

Side effects

The common side effects that are experienced on Nivolumab are:

  • Colitis in the form of diarrhoea and abdominal pain
  • Pneumonitis in the form of cough and difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Skin rash, redness, itching
  • Hypothyroidism


  • Before starting Nivolumab treatment, inform your doctor about other medications that you might be taking
  • Do not take any kind of vaccination or immunization without informing your doctor
  • Inform your doctor if you are on Nivolumab treatment and if you are pregnant as nivolumab can be hazardous to the fetus
  • Do not breast feed on Nivolumab
  • Monitor thyroid function while on treatment

Read more on drugs used for treatment of lung cancer.

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