The First RITUXAN Infusion and What to Expect
The first infusion of RITUXAN is given slowly. If there is a reaction, the infusion is slowed or stopped. The first treatment may take 4 to 6 hours or more.
Your doctor should prescribe medicines before each infusion of RITUXAN to reduce side effects of infusions (such as fever and chills).
Tell your doctor 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
These reactions are usually manageable. After your first treatment, your body may become more used to RITUXAN and treatments may take less time. But everyone is different, and some treatments may be shorter or longer.
Most reactions happen during the first RITUXAN infusion. These are not all of the side effects that are possible. Other rare, but serious, side effects can occur. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all of the side effects that are possible, even after the first RITUXAN infusion.
- Read the medication guide attached to the prescribing information—Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment with RITUXAN plus FC chemotherapy
- Ask questions—Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse about any concerns you have before beginning your infusion
- Pack something to eat or drink—There are no special rules about what you should eat or drink before an infusion. But you may be at the clinic most of the day. So you may want to bring some snacks or a packed meal
- Bring activities—You may want to bring activities such as crossword puzzles or a book to read to help you pass the time
- Arrange transportation—The medicines to reduce side effects may make you drowsy or dizzy, so it is a good idea to have someone else drive you home after treatments
- Ask your doctor or nurse about your medicine—If you take any other medicines, remind your doctor or nurse. Your doctor may give you special instructions that day
Prepare for infusion day
Download or print your Infusion Day checklist.
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.