Women of childbearing potential/Contraception: Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving avelumab and should use effective contraception during treatment with avelumab and for at least 1 month after the last dose of avelumab.
Pregnancy: There are no or limited data from the use of avelumab in pregnant women.
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with avelumab. However, in murine models of pregnancy, blockade of PD-L1 signalling has been shown to disrupt tolerance to the foetus and to result in an increased foetal loss (see Pharmacology: Toxicology: Preclinical safety data under Actions). These results indicate a potential risk, based on its mechanism of action, that administration of avelumab during pregnancy could cause foetal harm, including increased rates of abortion or stillbirth.
Human IgG1 immunoglobulins are known to cross the placental barrier. Therefore, avelumab has the potential to be transmitted from the mother to the developing foetus. It is not recommended to use avelumab during pregnancy unless the clinical condition of the woman requires treatment with avelumab.
Breast-feeding: It is unknown whether avelumab is excreted in human milk. Since it is known that antibodies can be secreted in human milk, a risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded.
Breast-feeding women should be advised not to breast-feed during treatment and for at least 1 month after the last dose due to the potential for serious adverse reactions in breast-fed infants.
Fertility: The effect of avelumab on male and female fertility is unknown.
Although studies to evaluate the effect of avelumab on fertility have not been conducted, there were no notable effects in the female reproductive organs in monkeys based on 1-month and 3-month repeat-dose toxicity studies (see Pharmacology: Toxicology: Preclinical safety data under Actions).