Opdivo: see what is the active principle and indications of the package leaflet

The cancer is a disease that occurs when cells grow abnormally and invade other tissues. It can manifest in different organs and cause serious problems in different parts of the body.

For the treatment of this disease, there are several medications and, among them, Opdivo.

Know more about him:

What is Opdivo?

Opdivo is the trade name of the active ingredient Nivolumab, an immunotherapeutic drug for the treatment of some types of cancer such as skin, lung, neck and head and bladder, in addition to Hodgkin’s lymphoma and kidney cancer.

It is administered via an intravenous infusion ( drip into a vein) and can be used alone or in conjunction with other medications.

It is the first immuno-oncological drug approved in Brazil for the treatment of these 4 types of cancer, being a new therapeutic resource. This opens possibilities beyond the methods of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, for example.

In addition, studies have shown that the use of Opdivo has shown more effective results compared to other types of treatment.

What is Opdivo for?

Opdivo is used for the treatment of Melanoma – type of skin cancer – advanced (without the possibility of surgery) or metastatic (which has spread to other parts of the body), before or after surgical removal. It is also indicated for non-small cell lung cancer , advanced or metastatic with progression after treatment with Platinum.

When previous therapy has been performed, Opdivo is used to:

  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma after stem cell transplantation and previous treatment;
  • Bladder cancer after previous therapy;
  • Neck and head cancer with disease progression after previous therapy;
  • Advanced kidney cancer after previous therapy;
  • Advanced or metastatic kidney cancer with intermediate or high risk without previous treatment.

The drug can be used together with the drug Ipilimumab in these cases. It is important to always consult a doctor who will indicate the best treatment for each clinical picture.

What is the active ingredient of Opdivo? Is it immunotherapy?

The active ingredient in Opdivo is Nivolumab – an antibody used to treat some types of cancer.

It works by helping the immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells, a type of treatment called immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy is a method that aims to stimulate the immune system, so that the patient’s own body can fight diseases.

Nivolumab works by improving the body’s ability to fight. Because it is a monoclonal antibody – an antibody created in the laboratory to act on specific cells – its action is directed to cells that promote tumor proliferation.

When combined with the drug Ipilimumab – used to treat malignant melanoma of the skin -, it also increases the response of the body’s T cells (defense cells), which potentiates its action against tumors.

How does the package insert indicate using Nivolumab?

According to the package insert, the medication must be administered in a hospital environment, under the supervision of a qualified professional.

The application is made via intravenous infusion (drip into the vein), over a period of 30 minutes.

The dose administered in monotherapy, according to the package insert, should be 240mg or 480mg, regardless of body weight, and should be indicated by the doctor in charge. But it is worth remembering that in use combined with other medications, this dosage may vary.

Does Opdivo have side effects?

Like other medicines, Opdivo can cause some side effects in those who use it.

Very common reactions include:

  • Skin lesions;
  • Itch;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Enjoo;
  • Tiredness;
  • Decreased amount of neutrophils in the blood.

The effects considered to be common are:

  • Respiratory tract infection;
  • Allergy;
  • Increase or decrease in the thyroid gland;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Ache;
  • Fever;
  • Weakness;
  • Dizziness;
  • High pressure;
  • Lack of air;
  • Cough;
  • Canker sores;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Inflammation in the intestine;
  • Constipation;
  • Reduction of hair and hair;
  • Weight loss.

Some of the unusual and rare symptoms, however, that can happen, are:

  • Infection of the lungs;
  • Bronchitis;
  • Dysfunctions of the glands that produce sex hormones;
  • Renal insufficiency;
  • Dry eye;
  • Mellitus diabetes;
  • Gastritis;
  • Malfunction of peripheral nerves;
  • Dehydration;
  • Anaphylactic reaction;
  • Reduction of bile flow;
  • Variation in heart rate;
  • Malfunction of muscle fibers.

Despite the reactions listed, it is important to remember that each organism reacts differently to the medication. Thus, it may be that not all patients have all side effects.

What is the price of Opdivo 100mg?

Opdivo is a high-cost drug and its value may vary according to the dosage.

The Opdivo 100mg costs about R $ 11000-13000 *. The 40mg Opdivo, on the other hand , is priced from approximately R $ 4,000 to 5,500 *.

* Prices consulted in December 2019. Prices may vary.

Does SUS provide Opdivo?

No . Opdivo is not part of the list of drugs supplied directly by SUS.

Despite this, patients who have a medical prescription for the use of the medicine can go to court to receive it.

For that, it is necessary to open a judicial process. During the procedure, it is necessary to present the Medical Report, exams, standard requirement, in addition to the budget of 3 pharmacies.

The budget can be made through the advisory of quotation of high cost drugs , which makes a personalized quotation, in an easy way.

Is Opdivo registered with ANVISA?

Yes. The drug was approved and registered in 2016, with a therapeutic class of antineoplastic medication – drugs used to destroy malignant cells.


Discovering cancer is not an easy process. It affects the way of life not only of the bearer, but also of those who live around them.

Regardless of where the disease manifests, it can have both physical and emotional consequences.

For your treatment, there are medications like Opdivo.

On the website of Hickey solution we have other complete contents on medicines and treatments for you to stay informed! Keep reading!

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