Why is it prescribed?

Durvalumab is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer in adults. It is used when:

  • the cancer has grown and can't be removed by surgery and,
  • the cancer has responded or stabilized after treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Products that have this ingredient include •Imfinzi® •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •non-small cell lung cancer •

These are the most common side effects of durvalumab:

  • Fatigue
  • Infection
  • Muscle and/or bone pain
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Swelling
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Colitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased sodium level
  • Decreased lymphocyte count (a type of white blood cell)

The following are rare but serious complications of durvalumab therapy triggered by an auto-immune reaction where the immune system goes after normal cells in the body.  Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have signs/symptoms of the following:

Pneumonitis (lung problems) identified by:

  • New or worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Hepatitis (liver problems) identified by:
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Pain on the right side of your stomach
  • Dark, tea colored urine
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal

Colitis (intestinal problems) identified by:

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in your stools or dark, tarry stool
  • Severe stomach pain or tenderness
  • Hormone gland problems (thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas) identified by:
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Increased sweating
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Unexpected weight gain or loss
  • Feeling more hungry or thirsty
  • High blood sugar
  • Hair loss
  • Irritability or forgetfulness
  • Constipation
  • Deepening of your voice
  • Low blood pressure
  • More frequent urination
  • Stomach pain

Kidney problems identified by:

  • Less frequent urination
  • Blood in your urine
  • Ankle swelling
  • Loss of appetite

Other organ problems:

  • Headache, change in balance, confusion
  • Severe muscle weakness or pain
  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Change in heartbeat
  • Flu like symptoms

Durvalumab is a human, immunoglobulin G1 kappa (IgG1κ) monoclonal antibody which helps the immune system fight cancer.  It can help slow or stop the cancer from growing. It can also help shrink the tumour.

Use durvalumab with caution if you:

  • Have any autoimmune conditions such as: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Have lung or breathing problems
  • Have liver problems
  • Have problems with your thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands or pancreas
  • Have diabetes
  • Are taking any medications that affect that immune system, such as prednisone

Drug Interactions:

  • There are no known drug interactions with durvalumab

Safety in pregnancy: Duvalumab can potentially harm the fetus. Women of child-bearing age should use an effective method of birth control during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose. 

Safety in breastfeeding: It is not known if durvalumab passes into breast milk.  Breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose. 



Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015