Rituximab is used to treat some types of cancer such as lymphoma and leukaemia. It is also sometimes used for rheumatoid arthritis.
Rituximab is given as an infusion into a vein.
Rituximab can cause a reaction while it is being infused. This usually happens within 30 minutes to 2 hours after starting the first infusion. You may have trouble breathing, or experience fever, chills, flushing, skin rash, itching, dizziness or headache. Tell your health professional immediately if any of these symptoms occur. This reaction is usually mild and can be controlled by giving rituximab more slowly. You will also be given medicines shortly before the infusion to help control this reaction. Once the symptoms have gone away the speed of the infusion can usually be increased again.
Rituximab will be given to you by a health professional. If you are unable to attend an appointment, contact your health professional as soon as possible.
Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.
|Side Effects||Recommended action|
Swollen lips, tongue, throat or face
Chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat
Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding
|Tell your doctor immediately|
Loss of co-ordination, muscle weakness, forgetfulness, or vision changes
Tingling or numbness, joint, muscle or bone aches and pains
|Tell your doctor|
Swollen feet or legs
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain
|Tell your doctor if troublesome|
If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.
Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. October 2020
For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
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My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.
For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed