Opdivo is used to treat cancer. It works by changing the action of your own immune system, directing it to attack cancer cells. Nivolumab belongs to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies.


OPDIVO® (nivolumab) | OPDIVO For Lung Cancer

Opdivo (nivolumab) is a prescription brand-name medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain types of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults.

NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer. Metastatic means the cancer has spread from your lungs to other parts of your body.

For this use, Opdivo is typically prescribed in combination with the drug ipilimumab (Yervoy) and sometimes with chemotherapy made from platinum. Opdivo may also be used by itself.

Here are the basics on Opdivo:

Active ingredient: nivolumab
Drug class: programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) inhibitor
Drug form: liquid solution for intravenous infusion
Available as biosimilar: no

Read on for more information on Opdivo and its use in treating lung cancer. Opdivo is also approved to treat several other types of cancer. You can refer to this article for a comprehensive look at this drug.

How Opdivo treats lung cancer

Opdivo is approved to treat metastatic* non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults, in certain situations. If your doctor has prescribed Opdivo, you may be wondering how it works to treat this condition.

* Metastatic means the cancer has spread from your lungs to other parts of your body.

The way Opdivo works as immunotherapy

Opdivo is a type of immunotherapy. “Immunotherapy” means the drug works to help your immune system fight cancer.

Opdivo’s mechanism of action (how the drug works) involves an immune system protein called programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1). PD-1 receptors (docking stations) are found on immune cells throughout your body. If certain proteins attach to PD-1 receptors, this causes immune cells to stop producing proteins that attack cancer cells. This means the cancer is able to avoid attacks from your immune system.

Opdivo works by attaching to PD-1 receptors, so that other proteins are blocked from attaching to them. This allows your immune system to produce proteins that attack and kill cancer cells.


How well Opdivo works

Clinical trials have found Opdivo to be effective for treating metastatic* non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in adults.

One trial found that people who took Opdivo had longer survival compared with people who took docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug. “Survival” referred to the length of time people lived while receiving treatment.

Another trial found that people who took Opdivo had better success rates compared with people taking docetaxel. “Success rate” referred to how many people’s cancer responded to treatment with Opdivo.

Opdivo is recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network as a treatment option for metastatic* NSCLC with confirmed PD-1 receptor presence on at least 1% of cancer

Opdivo side effects

opdivo price 

Opdivo package insert

Opdivo Package

1 vial of 40 mg/4 mL, 1 vial of 100 mg/10 mL


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