Warnings:

Rituximab may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) side effects including severe breathing problems or heart problems (such as heart attack, irregular heartbeat). If these serious side effects occur, they usually happen after the first treatment (IV infusion) with rituximab. Get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, itching, swelling (especially of the throat/lips), dizziness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, or chest pain.

Rarely, people using this medication have had serious (sometimes fatal) skin reactions (such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome). Get medical help right away if you develop rash, blisters, peeling skin, or sores on your skin, lips, or in your mouth.

This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking/walking, seizure, vision changes.

Rituximab may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease in people who have current or past infection with hepatitis B. Before starting this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had hepatitis B. Your doctor should do a blood test for hepatitis B before starting treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you have new or worsening symptoms of liver disease, such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, or yellowing eyes/skin.

Warnings:

Rituximab may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) side effects including severe breathing problems or heart problems (such as heart attack, irregular heartbeat). If these serious side effects occur, they usually happen after the first treatment (IV infusion) with rituximab. Get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, itching, swelling (especially of the throat/lips), dizziness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, or chest pain.

Rarely, people using this medication have had serious (sometimes fatal) skin reactions (such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome). Get medical help right away if you develop rash, blisters, peeling skin, or sores on your skin, lips, or in your mouth.

This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking/walking, seizure, vision changes.

Rituximab may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease in people who have current or past infection with hepatitis B. Before starting this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had hepatitis B. Your doctor should do a blood test for hepatitis B before starting treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you have new or worsening symptoms of liver disease, such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, or yellowing eyes/skin.

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Uses

Rituximab is used to treat certain types of cancer (such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia). Rituximab belongs to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

How to use

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using rituximab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Your doctor will prescribe other medications (such as acetaminophen, an antihistamine, methylprednisolone) for you to take before each treatment to help reduce side effects, such as fever and chills. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions.

This medication is given by injection under the skin of your abdomen by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually over 5 to 7 minutes. This form of rituximab is used only after receiving your first dose of rituximab by injection into a vein. The dosage and treatment schedule are based on your medical condition, other medications you may be taking, and response to treatment.

Ask your doctor if you should take your regular medications (such as drugs for high blood pressure) before your treatment.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.