Warning: As with most
powerful drugs, there are certain side effects of Rituximab that you should be familiar with. This drug may cause severe breathing problems or heart problems, like low blood
pressure, heart attack and irregular heartbeat. These side effects are
much more likely to occur if you have already have some sort of reaction to Rituximab.
Some serious skin reaction
have also been seen to occur in rare instances. If you see that you
are having an adverse reaction with your skin, you should seek medical attention immediately and report any
rashes, sores, or blisters to your physician as soon as possible.
In very rare cases,
Rituximab has been shown to cause a sometimes fatal, brain infection. Signs of this include loss of balance, blurred vision and
confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to
seek immediate medial attention.
Indications: Rituximab is a drug that is used either alone, or in
combination with other drugs, to treat certain types of cancer.
This mechanism of this drug is that it attaches to a specific type of blood cell (B cells) and kills
them. This drug can also be used to treat some types of rheumatoid
arthritis, if other drugs have not worked.
Rituximab is mainly
used in the treatment of the following conditions:
- 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.
Rituximab is a drug that is administered via intravenous therapy, also known as IV therapy. A doctor will be giving this medication to you slowly over several
hours. The dosage will be determined on the severity of your condition
and the response that you have had to the treatment. A typical
treatment for cancer would be one dose every week until stopped by your physician. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is 2 doses about 2 weeks
Rituximab is given in hospital by professionals; although it is not impossible, the risk of overdose is very
difficult. An overdose of paclitaxel may cause a life threatening decrease in the number of blood cells in your
bone marrow and cause severe health problems. Even in the absence of overdose, Rituximab can cause severe reactions
in some patients. Contact your health care provider immediately if you experience: fainting; shortness of breath, blurred
vision, pounding or irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat. Difficulty
breathing or swallowing should be reported immediately to your doctor.
treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,
Rituximab can lead to the development of tumor lysis syndrome (a serious metabolic
disorder that is due to fast breakdown of cancer cells), which tend to lead to kidney failure and the need for
Some patients die within 24 hours after receiving a dose of Rituximab. Before starting the treatment, it is
extremely important to tell your doctor all details about your medical history. During and after the treatment,
keep all appointments with your doctor.
dose: Rituximab is administered in hospital;
it is basically difficult for you to miss any dose if you keep all appointments of your doctor. Therefore, be
present at each appointment to take all doses of paclitaxel that your doctor has prescribed. If for some reasons
you cannot go to the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date scheduled for the
The use of this drug can cause dizziness, so it is
important that you do not drive, use heavy machinery, or participate in activities that require a high level of
alertness. The consumption of alcoholic beverages should also be
avoided or kept to a minimum. Before you have surgeries, make sure
you inform your doctor about this and any other medications that you are on.
In general, Rituximab is contraindicated or should be used with precaution in the following
- filling of airspaces
with fluid (pulmonary oedema)
who are breast-feeding
- having a
high number of circulating malignant cells
to Rituxan or one of its ingredients
to Chinese hamster
ovary (CHO) cells
women - if you are at childbearing age, talk to your doctor about contraception during treatment with
As with all prescription drugs, it is important to know
that the chemicals from other drugs can change the way the drug works. Some of the drugs that may cause problems for people on Rituximab include
drugs that treat high blood pressure, drugs that have effects on the immune system, and even some
immunizations. It is important to speak with your doctor and let
him or her know about all of the drugs you are currently on before you start to take
This drug also attacks normal cells that multiply rapidly, causing adverse reaction in some patients. Common
Rituximab side effects include:
- hair loss
nausea and vomiting
loss of appetite
change in taste
muscle or back pain
If the side
effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor if you experience any
of these symptoms:
bruising or bleeding
throat, fever, chills, ...
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.