About CLL
Safety Information
 

Some Treatment Options for CLL

You may just be starting treatment for your CLL. Or you may need treatment again because the disease has advanced (relapse).

There are many treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Some goals of treatment are to:

  • Relieve symptoms
  • Keep the disease from advancing
  • Get the disease into partial or complete remission
 
 

Keep in mind: Remission can be partial or complete. Partial remission means the cancer is significantly improved, but evidence of the cancer remains. Complete remission means all evidence of the cancer is gone for a period of time.

Some common treatment options include:

  • Watch-and-wait—An option that involves watching for symptoms of CLL and not starting treatment unless needed. Some people with CLL never need treatment
    Learn more about watch-and-wait
  • Chemotherapy—Drugs used to attack cells that are fast growing. This includes cancer cells and different types of healthy cells throughout the body
    Learn more about chemotherapy and CLL
  • Targeted therapy—A type of treatment that attacks a specific type of cell. This includes the group of healthy cells from which cancer cells derive
    Learn more about targeted therapy and CLL

The right treatment for you depends on a number of factors. These include:

  • The stage of CLL—where the CLL is in your body
  • Your personal characteristics—such as age and overall health

Treatments may vary from patient to patient. And when you’ve been treated before, remember that your response may not be as good the second time around. Still, it is important to understand what options are available and to discuss your treatment goals with your doctor.

This information does not take the place of talking with your doctor. Discuss with your doctor any questions you have about your medical condition or your treatment.

Next Section Watch-and-Wait

INDICATIONS

RITUXAN® (Rituximab) is indicated for the treatment of:

  • CD20-positive chronic lymphocytic leukemia in combination with FC chemotherapy as an initial treatment or as a treatment after disease has recurred

People with serious infections should not receive RITUXAN.

Important Safety Information

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

Tell your doctor right away about any side effect you experience. RITUXAN can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:

  • Infusion Reactions: may occur during or within 24 hours of your infusion. Your doctor should give you medicines before your treatment. Symptoms can include hives, rash, itching, facial or oral swelling, sudden cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, feeling faint, racing heart, or chest pain
  • Severe Skin and Mouth Reactions: symptoms can include painful sores, ulcers, or blisters on your skin, lips or mouth; peeling skin; rash; or pustules
  • Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reactivation: may cause serious liver problems including liver failure and death. If you have had hepatitis B or are a carrier of HBV, receiving RITUXAN could cause the virus to become an active infection again. You should not receive RITUXAN if you have active HBV liver disease. Your doctor will do blood tests to check for HBV infection prior to treatment and will monitor you during and for several months following your treatment
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): a rare, serious brain infection that can lead to severe disability and death and for which there is no known prevention, treatment, or cure. Symptoms can include difficulty thinking, loss of balance, changes in speech or walking, weakness on one side of your body, or blurred or lost vision

What are the additional possible serious side effects of RITUXAN?

Tell your doctor right away about any side effect you experience. RITUXAN can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:

  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): may cause kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment, abnormal heart rhythm, and can lead to death. Your doctor may give you medicines before your treatment to help prevent TLS
  • Serious Infections: can happen during and after treatment and can lead to death. These infections may be bacterial, fungal, or viral. Symptoms can include fever; cold or flu symptoms; earache or headache; pain during urination; white patches in the mouth or throat; cuts or scrapes that are red, warm, swollen, or painful
  • Heart Problems: symptoms can include chest pain and irregular heartbeats that may require treatment. Your doctor may need to stop your treatment
  • Kidney Problems: your doctor should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
  • Stomach and Serious Bowel Problems: can include blockage or tears in the bowel that can lead to death. Stomach area pain during treatment can be a symptom
  • Low Blood Cell Counts: your blood cell counts may be monitored during treatment

The most common side effects of RITUXAN are infusion reactions, chills, infections, body aches, tiredness, and low white blood cells.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is not known if RITUXAN may harm your unborn baby or pass into your breast milk. Women should use birth control while using RITUXAN and for 12 months after treatment.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of RITUXAN. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Please see the RITUXAN full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for additional important safety information at www.RITUXAN.com.

You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.