Rituximab Generic Name:
Rituximab (ri-TUX-i-mab)Brand Name:
Severe and sometimes fatal infusion reactions may occur with Rituximab . Tell your doctor right away if you develop blurred vision, cough, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, hives, itching, swelling, trouble breathing, or wheezing, while you receive or after you receive Rituximab .
Severe and sometimes fatal kidney problems and skin reactions may also occur during treatment with Rituximab . Tell your doctor right away if you experience decreased urination; red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin; or skin or mouth sores or ulcers.
Rarely, a severe and sometimes fatal viral infection of the brain has been reported with the use of Rituximab in certain patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice new or worsening medical problems such as changes in thinking (eg, confusion, disorientation), loss of balance or coordination, muscle weakness, trouble walking or talking, or unusual eye movements or vision changes.
Rituximab is used for:
Treating patients who have certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It may used alone or in combination with other medicines. It is also used along with another medicine (methotrexate) to treat certain patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody. It works by lowering the number of certain types of white blood cells (B cells) in the body. This helps to treat the non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This also helps to decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation in certain patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Do NOT use Rituximab if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Rituximab or to mouse or rat protein
- you have rheumatoid arthritis and you have not previously used certain other medicines (eg, tumor necrosis factor [TNF] antagonists)
- you have active hepatitis B infection
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Rituximab :
Some medical conditions may interact with Rituximab . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have symptoms of an infection (eg, chills, fever, persistent sore throat), an infection that will not go away or keeps coming back, a history of frequent infections, or a weakened immune system
- if you have a history of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or other viral infections (eg, chickenpox, cytomegalovirus, herpes, Jamestown Canyon [JC] virus, parvovirus, shingles, West Nile virus); autoimmune disorder (eg, lupus); other cancers; or if you are receiving chemotherapy or immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine)
- if you have a history of kidney, liver, lung, blood, or heart problems (eg, irregular heartbeat, chest pain); bowel problems; or electrolyte problems
- if you take medicine for high blood pressure or are scheduled to have surgery
- if you have rheumatoid arthritis and are taking or have taken a TNF inhibitor or a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Rituximab . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Cisplatin because serious kidney toxicity or kidney failure may occur
- Medicines for high blood pressure because they may increase the risk of low blood pressure when you receive Rituximab
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Rituximab may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Rituximab :
Use Rituximab as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Rituximab comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Rituximab refilled.
- Rituximab is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
- Do not use Rituximab if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- You may receive other medicines before your dose of Rituximab . This is to decrease the chance of an infusion reaction. Discuss any questions with your doctor.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- If you miss a dose of Rituximab , contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Rituximab .
Important safety information:
- Rituximab may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Rituximab with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Rituximab may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- The risk of certain viral infections may be greater while you use Rituximab and for up to 18 months after you stop using it. Certain viral infections may be very severe or fatal (eg, polyomavirus JC). Tell your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of infection, especially if symptoms include confusion or disorientation, changes in thinking or strength, changes in vision, unusual eye movements, trouble walking or talking, or loss of balance or coordination.
- Serious liver problems may develop in patients who have hepatitis B infection or who carry the hepatitis B virus and use Rituximab . Tell your doctor right away if you develop signs of liver problems, including dark urine, pale stools, severe stomach pain, or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
- Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are taking Rituximab . Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
- Rituximab may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Rituximab before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Women who may become pregnant must use effective birth control while they use Rituximab and for 12 months after they stop using it. Check with your doctor if you have questions about effective birth control.
- Lab tests, including kidney and liver function, complete blood cell counts, and blood electrolytes, may be performed while you use Rituximab and for several months after you stop using it. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Rituximab with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially irregular heartbeat, breathing problems, and lung infection.
- Rituximab should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Rituximab can cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you use Rituximab and for 12 months after you stop using it. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Rituximab while you are pregnant. It is not known if Rituximab is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Rituximab .
Possible side effects of Rituximab :
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Diarrhea; flushing; indigestion; lightheadedness; mild fever and chills, especially with the first dose; mild muscle or joint pain; nausea; night sweats; runny nose; sneezing; throat irritation; vomiting; weakness.Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision changes; changes in thinking or strength; chest pain; confusion; decreased amount of urine or dark urine; decreased balance or coordination; disorientation; dizziness; drowsiness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, cough, or persistent sore throat; headache; numbness of an arm or leg; persistent muscle, back, or joint pain; red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin; severe or persistent stomach pain; severe weakness or fatigue; shortness of breath; skin or mouth sores or ulcers; sudden leg pain; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; trouble walking or talking; unusual bleeding or bruising; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Rituximab :
Rituximab is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Rituximab at home, store Rituximab as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Do not freeze or shake Rituximab . Keep Rituximab out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Rituximab , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Rituximab is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Rituximab . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Rituximab Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- rituximab Intravenous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Rituxan Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Rituxan Consumer Overview