YOUR FIRST COURSE OF RITUXAN (rituximab) TREATMENT
Rituxan® (rituximab) is typically given every 6 months, or based on your doctor's evaluation of your symptoms (but no sooner than every 4 months).
- 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 rheumatoid arthritis (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
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR FIRST RITUXAN INFUSION
- Your doctor's office will schedule appointments for both of your infusions, which may be given at your doctor's office, an infusion center, or a hospital
- Your first infusion usually takes 4 to 6 hours, so plan accordingly. 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 consider eating before, or bringing along a snack. Just be sure to check with the facility first that bringing food is allowed
- Remember to review the Rituxan Medication Guide with your healthcare provider before each infusion
What are the possible side effects of Rituxan?
Rituxan can cause serious side effects, including:
- Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. TLS can cause you to have kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment or an abnormal heart rhythm
- Serious Infections: Serious infections can happen during and after treatment with Rituxan and can lead to death. Rituxan can increase your risk of getting infections and can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. People with serious infections should not receive Rituxan
- Heart Problems: Rituxan may cause chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and heart attack. Your healthcare provider may monitor your heart during and after treatment with Rituxan if you have symptoms of heart problems or have a history of heart problems
- Kidney Problems: especially if you are receiving Rituxan for non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Rituxan can cause severe kidney problems that lead to death. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working.
- Stomach and Serious Bowel Problems That Can Sometimes Lead to Death: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any stomach-area pain during treatment with Rituxan
Please see the Important Side Effect Information page and the Rituxan Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional Important Side Effect Information, including Most Serious Side Effects.