The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
RITUXIMAB - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Rituxan
WARNING: Rarely, serious (even fatal) side effects have occurred with rituximab use. Side effects such as breathing trouble, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, or a large change in amount of urine must be reported to your doctor immediately. Your doctor may stop rituximab or use additional treatment. Laboratory tests (e.g., electrolytes, kidney function) may be performed to monitor your progress. If you have heart or lung problems, a large number of cancer cells (above 25,000/mm3) in the blood, or certain cancers (CLL or lymphoma), you should be closely monitored.
Rituximab is a type of medication called a monoclonal antibody. It is used to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., non- Hodgkin's lymphoma).
How To Use
This medication is given slowly by vein (IV), once a week for 4 doses; or use as directed by your doctor. Depending on your condition and response to therapy, you may receive more than one course of treatment. Follow all instructions for proper mixing and dilution with correct IV fluids. Follow all safety precautions. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions regarding the use of this medication. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Headache, nausea, facial flushing, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: fatigue, decrease in amount of urine, weakness, fever, chills, pain at the tumor site, joint or muscle pain, stomach pain, sore throat. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: chest pain, cough, diarrhea, increased thirst or urination, tingling of the hands or feet, flushing, unusual bleeding or bruising, sweating, mental/mood changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: fast/slow/irregular pulse, chest pain, slow or shallow breathing, dark urine, yellowing eyes or skin. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: heart problems (e.g., arrhythmias, angina), blood disorders (e.g., thrombocytopenia), lung problems (e.g., pulmonary infiltrates), allergies (especially drug allergies). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about using a reliable form of birth control (e.g., condoms, oral birth control pills). Pregnancy is not recommended during treatment with, and for at least 12 months following the use of this medication. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist of all nonprescription and prescription drugs you may use, especially of: other anti-cancer drugs, drugs for high blood pressure (e.g., enalapril, metoprolol, verapamil), recent or upcoming immunizations (e.g., oral polio, measles vaccines). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood) may be performed to monitor for side effects and response to treatment.
If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
Store vials in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C) away from light and moisture. After mixing and dilution in correct IV fluids (consult your pharmacist for details), the drug is stable at refrigerator temperature for 24 hours and at room temperature for an additional 12 hours. Discard any unused liquid.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).