Safety

Before exploring, please read the side effect information.

close

What does Rituxan treat?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): with another prescription medicine called methotrexate, to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe active RA in adults, after treatment with at least one other medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist has been used and did not work well enough.

People with serious infections should not receive Rituxan. It is not known if Rituxan is safe or effective in children.

Important Side Effect Information

What is the most important information I should know about Rituxan?

Rituxan can cause serious side effects that can be fatal, including:

  • Infusion reactions—infusion reactions are the most common side effect of Rituxan treatment. Serious infusion reactions can happen during or up to 24 hours after an infusion. During clinical trials, less than 1% of people taking Rituxan experienced serious infusion reactions
  • Severe skin and mouth reactions—painful sores or ulcers on your skin, lips, or in your mouth; blisters; peeling skin; rash; or small, pus-filled blisters
  • Return of hepatitis B virus (HBV)—if you previously had hepatitis B, Rituxan can cause the disease to become an active infection again, even if you are not showing any symptoms
  • PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy)—a rare but serious brain infection caused by the JC virus

What are the possible side effects of Rituxan?

Rituxan can cause serious and life-threatening side effects, including:

  • TLS (tumor lysis syndrome)—has occurred in patients using Rituxan to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It is caused by cancer cells breaking down and can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment or cause abnormal heart rhythm
  • Serious infections—these can happen during and after treatment and can be fatal. During clinical trials, 2% of people taking Rituxan developed serious infections
  • Heart problems—Rituxan may cause chest pain and irregular heartbeat. Your doctor or healthcare team may provide treatment or decide to stop treating with Rituxan if you experience these symptoms
  • Kidney problems—especially if you are taking it for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Your doctor should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
  • Stomach and serious bowel problems that can sometimes be fatal—tell your doctor right away if you have any stomach area pain during treatment with Rituxan
  • Changes in blood cell counts—during treatment with Rituxan, your doctor or healthcare team should do regular blood tests to monitor your blood cell counts

What are common side effects during treatment with Rituxan?

  • infusion
    reactions
  • chills
  • infections
  • body aches
  • tiredness
  • low white blood
    cell count

Other side effects include:

  • aching joints during
    or within hours of
    receiving an infusion
  • more frequent
    upper respiratory
    tract infections

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
These are not all of the possible side effects with Rituxan. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Please see the Rituxan Medication Guide including most serious side effects for additional important side effect information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.FDA.gov/medwatch. Or to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

What Does ACTEMRA Treat?

ACTEMRA® (tocilizumab) is a prescription medicine called an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist. ACTEMRA is used to treat adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after at least one other medicine called a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) has been used and did not work well.

Important Side Effect Information:

ACTEMRA can cause serious side effects

ACTEMRA changes the way your immune system works. This can make you more likely to get infections or make any current infection worse. Some people taking ACTEMRA have died from these infections.

ACTEMRA can cause other serious side effects including stomach tears; changes in blood test results that check for low neutrophil and platelet counts, and increases in certain liver function test levels and blood cholesterol levels; increased risk of certain cancers by changing the way your immune system works; hepatitis B infection; serious allergic reactions, including death (these may happen with ACTEMRA infusions or injections, even if they did not occur with an earlier infusion or injection; if you had hives, a rash, or experienced flushing after injecting, you should tell your doctor or nurse before your next injection); and nervous system problems.

Tell your doctor if you’re allergic to ACTEMRA or if you’ve had a reaction to ACTEMRA previously.

Common side effects include upper respiratory tract infections (like common cold and sinus infections), headache, increased blood pressure (also called hypertension), and injection site reactions. Tell your doctor if you have these or any other side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Tell your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, plan to breast-feed, or are breast-feeding. You and your doctor should decide if you will take ACTEMRA or breast-feed. You should not do both. If you are pregnant and taking ACTEMRA, join the pregnancy registry. To learn more, call 1-877-311-8972 or talk to your doctor to register.

Tell your doctor right away if you are experiencing any side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.FDA.gov/medwatch. You may also call Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

For more Important Safety Information, please see ACTEMRA.com for full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide, including Serious Side Effects.

Sign Up to Get More From Your RA Treatment

Join Rituxan & You

By registering for this program, you are indicating that you want to receive information from Genentech via mail, e-mail, or text about RA and Rituxan® (rituximab).

Signing up is simple. Just complete the form below and if you're eligible, you'll receive a personal RA treatment journal. Let's get started!

All fields must be completed unless marked as optional.

Contact Information

You must be 18 years or older to receive information.

1. What is your relationship to the person with RA?

Please answer the following questions as they relate to the person with RA.

2. What type of RA have you been diagnosed with?

3. Which of the following treatments do you currently take or have you taken in the past?

Click all that apply.

Present Past Unsure
Actemra® (tocilizumab)
Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol)
Enbrel® (etanercept)
Humira® (adalimumab)
Kineret® (anakinra)
Orencia® (abatacept)
Remicade® (infliximab)
Rituxan® (rituximab)
Simponi® (golimumab)
Xeljanz® (tofacitinib)
Methotrexate
  • Other traditional DMARDs such as
  • Arava® (leflunomide),
  • Azulfidine® (sulfasalazine),
  • Imuran® (azathioprine),
  • Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine).

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

4. Which way would you like to receive your RA medication?

About Your Privacy

We understand that protecting the privacy of visitors to our websites is very important and that information about your health is particularly sensitive. Sign up to receive information that can help you play an active role in your own care and gain a better understanding about RA products from Genentech and important RA topics. We only collect personally identifiable information about you if you choose to give it to us. We do not share any of your personally identifiable information with third parties for their own marketing use unless you explicitly give us permission to do so. Please review our Privacy Policy to learn more about how we collect, use, share, and protect information online.

By registering for this site, you are indicating that you want to receive information from Genentech via mail, e-mail, or text on RA and Rituxan.

If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, click here.

Registration Complete

Thank you for becoming a part of the Rituxan & You Patient Support Program. You can expect to begin receiving materials from Rituxan & You shortly, such as your personal monthly treatment journal.

Any information you provided for the purpose of registering will be protected and used according to our Privacy Policy. Should you wish to unsubscribe, please visit the unsubscribe page. If you have any questions, please see our complete Privacy Policy.

Error

We're sorry your form was not submitted successfully due to a server error. Please try again later.

What does Rituxan treat?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): with another prescription medicine called methotrexate, to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe active RA in adults, after treatment with at least one other medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist has been used and did not work well enough.

People with serious infections should not receive Rituxan. It is not known if Rituxan is safe or effective in children.

Important Side Effect Information

What is the most important information I should know about Rituxan?

Rituxan can cause serious side effects that can be fatal, including:

  • Infusion reactions—infusion reactions are the most common side effect of Rituxan treatment. Serious infusion reactions can happen during or up to 24 hours after an infusion. During clinical trials, less than 1% of people taking Rituxan experienced serious infusion reactions
  • Severe skin and mouth reactions—painful sores or ulcers on your skin, lips, or in your mouth; blisters; peeling skin; rash; or small, pus-filled blisters
  • Return of hepatitis B virus (HBV)—if you previously had hepatitis B, Rituxan can cause the disease to become an active infection again, even if you are not showing any symptoms
  • PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy)—a rare but serious brain infection caused by the JC virus

What should I tell my doctor before receiving Rituxan?

It is important to tell your doctor or healthcare team if you:

  • Previously had serious infusion reactions to Rituxan
  • Have a history of other medical conditions including:
    • Heart problems
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Chest pain
    • Lung or kidney problems
  • Have had an infection, currently have an infection, or have a weakened immune system
  • Have recently been given a vaccine, plan to get a vaccine, or are in contact with someone who has gotten or is planning to get a vaccine. You should not get certain vaccines before or after receiving Rituxan. Some types of vaccines can spread to people with a weakened immune system and cause serious problems
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about effective birth control
  • Are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
  • Are taking or have taken other prescription or nonprescription medicines, especially anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) medicines or DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs)

What are the possible side effects of Rituxan?

Rituxan can cause serious and life-threatening side effects, including:

  • TLS (tumor lysis syndrome)—has occurred in patients using Rituxan to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It is caused by cancer cells breaking down and can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment or cause abnormal heart rhythm
  • Serious infections—these can happen during and after treatment and can be fatal. During clinical trials, 2% of people taking Rituxan developed serious infections
  • Heart problems—Rituxan may cause chest pain and irregular heartbeat. Your doctor or healthcare team may provide treatment or decide to stop treating with Rituxan if you experience these symptoms
  • Kidney problems—especially if you are taking it for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Your doctor should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
  • Stomach and serious bowel problems that can sometimes be fatal—tell your doctor right away if you have any stomach area pain during treatment with Rituxan
  • Changes in blood cell counts—during treatment with Rituxan, your doctor or healthcare team should do regular blood tests to monitor your blood cell counts

What are common side effects during treatment with Rituxan?

  • infusion
    reactions
  • chills
  • infections
  • body aches
  • tiredness
  • low white blood
    cell count

Other side effects include:

  • aching joints during
    or within hours of
    receiving an infusion
  • more frequent
    upper respiratory
    tract infections

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
These are not all of the possible side effects with Rituxan. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Please see the Rituxan Medication Guide including most serious side effects for additional important side effect information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.FDA.gov/medwatch. Or to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.