Infusion Reaction Management Strategies
INFUSION REACTIONS REPORTED WITH R-FC IN CLL1,2
- R=RITUXAN; FC=fludarabine and cyclophosphamide.
- In clinical trials of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common (≥25%) adverse reactions experienced with RITUXAN were infusion reactions and neutropenia1
The following premedications were included in the CLL8 and REACH trials2:
- In both trials, corticosteroids could be provided for symptomatic relief if the patient experienced bronchospasm or dyspnea during RITUXAN infusion2
- In both CLL trials, the incidence of infusion reactions decreased in subsequent cycles2
- RITUXAN can cause severe, including fatal, infusion reactions. Severe reactions typically occurred during the first infusion, with time to onset of 30 to 120 minutes
- RITUXAN-induced infusion reactions and sequelae include urticaria, hypotension, angioedema, hypoxia, bronchospasm, pulmonary infiltrates, acute respiratory distress syndrome, myocardial infarction, ventricular fibrillation, cardiogenic shock, anaphylactoid events, or death
- Premedicate patients with an antihistamine and acetaminophen prior to dosing. Depending on the severity of the infusion reaction and the required interventions, slow the infusion rate, interrupt the infusion, or permanently discontinue RITUXAN
- Closely monitor patients with pre-existing cardiac or pulmonary conditions, those who experienced prior cardiopulmonary adverse reactions, and those with high numbers of circulating malignant cells (≥25,000/mm3)
- RITUXAN® (Rituximab) full prescribing information, Genentech, Inc., 2012.
- Data on file, Genentech, Inc.
RITUXAN® (Rituximab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with:
- Relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent
- Previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL in combination with first-line chemotherapy and, in patients achieving a complete or partial response to RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy, as single-agent maintenance therapy
- Non-progressing (including stable disease), low-grade, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL, as a single agent, after first-line CVP chemotherapy
- Previously untreated diffuse large B-cell, CD20-positive NHL in combination with CHOP or other anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens
- Previously untreated and previously treated CD20-positive CLL in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC)
RITUXAN is not recommended for use in patients with severe, active infections.
Important Safety Information
WARNING: FATAL INFUSION REACTIONS, TUMOR LYSIS SYNDROME (TLS), SEVERE MUCOCUTANEOUS REACTIONS, and PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY (PML)
Infusion Reactions: RITUXAN administration can result in serious, including fatal, infusion reactions. Deaths within 24 hours of RITUXAN infusion have occurred. Approximately 80% of fatal infusion reactions occurred in association with the first infusion. Carefully monitor patients during infusions. Discontinue RITUXAN infusion and provide medical treatment for Grade 3 or 4 infusion reactions.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): Acute renal failure requiring dialysis with instances of fatal outcome can occur in the setting of TLS following treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) with RITUXAN monotherapy.
Severe Mucocutaneous Reactions: Severe, including fatal, mucocutaneous reactions can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN.
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): JC virus infection resulting in PML and death can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN.
Warnings and Precautions
RITUXAN has also been associated with other serious and/or fatal adverse reactions. These include
- hepatitis B reactivation with fulminant hepatitis; hepatic failure resulting in death
- serious, including fatal, bacterial, fungal, and new or reactivated viral infections
- cardiovascular events, including serious or life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias
- severe, including fatal, renal toxicity
- abdominal pain, bowel obstruction and perforation, in some cases leading to death, can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy
Additional Important Safety Information
- The most frequent Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions observed in NHL were cytopenias, including lymphopenia. The most common adverse reactions of RITUXAN (incidence ≥25%) observed in clinical trials of patients with NHL were infusion reactions, fever, lymphopenia, chills, infection, and asthenia. The incidence of infusion reactions was highest during the first infusion (77%) and decreased with each subsequent infusion. These infusion reactions typically resolved with slowing or interruption of the infusion and with supportive care
- The most common adverse reactions of RITUXAN (incidence ≥25%) observed in clinical trials of patients with CLL were infusion reactions and neutropenia. Infusion-related adverse reactions occurring during or within 24 hours of the start of infusion included nausea, pyrexia, chills, hypotension, vomiting, and dyspnea
- Most CLL patients treated with R-FC experienced at least one Grade 3 or 4 adverse reaction. The Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions observed more frequently with R-FC compared with FC alone were neutropenia, leukopenia, febrile neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, infusion reactions, pancytopenia, hypotension, and hepatitis B
- In clinical trials, CLL patients 70 years of age or older who received R-FC had more Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions compared with younger CLL patients who received the same treatment
Attention Healthcare Provider: Provide Medication Guide to patient prior to RITUXAN infusion.