Warning: The main adverse reactions of rituxan include breathing
problems, heart problems, skin reactions, and very rarely, brain infection. If you have had breathing problems or
heart problems in the past, you will want to discuss this with your doctor, as the
medication can greatly increase your chance of further problems. However, if you have breathing or heart
problems, this does not mean that the medication may not work for you. You will simply need to monitor your
health more carefully during treatment, or possibly receive the medication slower than people who do not have
previous breathing or heart problems.
Typically, the serious side
effects of the medication will result after just 2 hours of your first injection. This is convenient because you
will likely still be under your doctor’s care. If you have several cancer cells in your body, you may experience
kidney failure due to the amount of dead cancer cells that are trying to exit your body rapidly. Due to your
kidneys being unable to keep up, it can lead to kidney problems. Make sure to drink plenty of water following
the medication and notify your doctor if you notice any signs of kidney failure.
Rituxan is a medication that is used for the treatment of certain types of cancer. The medication can be used
alone, or with other cancer medications. The type of cancer you have, as well as the severity, will depend upon
your doctor’s decision to use the medication alone or in combination with something else. The medication can also
be used for autoimmune disorders as well as arthritis. The dose you receive for these diseases will obviously be
lower than the dose you receive for cancer.
Rituxan is, most of the times, used alone or in combination with other medications to
- follicular lymphoma stage III-IV
that is resistant to chemotherapy or relapse after chemotherapy;
- follicular lymphoma Stage III-IV
that had never been previously treated, in combination with CVP chemotherapy;
- Aggressive diffuse large b-cell CD20-positive Non Hodgkin's lymphoma (DLBCL), in combination
with CHOP chemotherapy.
The medication is injected into a vein under the direction of your doctor. The dose is injected through a slow
process, which may last several hours. How often you need the dose will depend upon the amount of living cancer
cells within your body, as well as how your body is reacting to other medications and treatment options. If you are
being treated for cancer, you will typically receive one dose of the medication every week. For other diseases such
as arthritis, you will typically only receive two doses, which will be about two weeks apart.
Mechanism of action (MOA):
Rituxan is a monoclonal antibody, a class of chemotherapy drugs; it slows or stops tumor progression by
killing cells that multiply rapidly (cancer cells and some normal cells).
Rituxan is contraindicated or should be used with precaution in the following conditions:
in the airspaces (pulmonary oedema)
women who are breast-feeding
allergy to Rituximab or one of its ingredients
allergy to Chinese
hamster ovary (CHO) cells
having a high number of circulating malignant cells
Interactions: Autoimmune and high blood pressure drugs may interact with rituxan. Make sure to talk to your doctor about
all of the current medications that you are taking, prior to beginning a cycle of rituxan.
Before taking the medication, tell you to your doctor before taking aspirin,
vitamins, nutritional supplements, or St. John's wort. Certain medications can
increase the risk of side effects. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these
- Medicines for hypertension.
In addition to cancer cells, the medication also attack normal cells that multiply rapidly, causing adverse
reaction in some patients. Common
Rituxan side effects include:
- hair loss
nausea and vomiting
loss of appetite
change in taste
muscle or back pain
You need to
see a health care provider immedaitely if you experience any of these symptoms:
bruising or bleeding
throat, fever, chills, or other
pain or tightness
muscle or joint pain
- signs of
infection such as sore throat, fever and chills
- joint pain or
- blood in
urine or stools
- pain in
lower back or the side
or difficulty urinating.
nlm.nih.gov, medlineplus: Important Warning (about Rituximab)