HOW RITUXAN IS GIVEN
Like some other rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatments, Rituxan® (rituximab) must be given directly into the bloodstream in order for it to be effective. So instead of being taken as a pill or an injection, it is given as an infusion, which is a needle placed in a vein by a healthcare professional.
- Infusions are a relatively common form of treatment used for a variety of conditions
- They may take more time than other forms of treatment, but in RA they're usually given less often
- Infusions are given by a trained healthcare professional who is there with you to help manage the process and monitor for reactions
ABOUT RITUXAN INFUSIONS
- Your doctor's office will schedule appointments for the first course of treatment (2 infusions given 2 weeks apart), which may be given at your doctor's office, an infusion center, or a hospital
- Infusions can last several hours, so most people take something along to help pass the time, like a book or some music
- There are no special rules for what you can eat or drink before, during, or after an infusion. So some people like to eat before or bring a snack along. Just be sure to check with the facility first that bringing food is allowed
- It's important to review the Rituxan Medication Guide with a healthcare provider before each infusion
SERIOUS SIDE EFFECT INFORMATION
Rituxan can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:
- Infusion Reactions: Infusion reactions are very common side effects of Rituxan treatment. Serious infusion reactions can happen during your infusion or within 24 hours after your infusion of Rituxan. Your healthcare provider should give you medicines before your infusion of Rituxan to decrease your chance of having a severe infusion reaction.
Tell your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you get any of these symptoms during or after an infusion of Rituxan:
- Hives (red, itchy welts) or rash
- Swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or face
- Sudden cough
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
- Dizziness or feel faint
- Palpitations (feel like your heart is racing or fluttering)
- Chest pain
For more information, please visit the Important Side Effect Information page.