"I experienced some itching during one of my infusions, and the nurses were right there to help me manage it." -Bobbi, taking Rituxan since 2007
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Rituxan can result in serious side effects, some of which could be life threatening. These include:
- infusion reactions
- tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)
- severe skin and mouth reactions
- progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
Other serious, potentially life-threatening side effects are:
- hepatitis B infection that may become active again
- serious infections
- heart problems
- low blood cell counts
Common side effects include infections and infusion reactions. Before treatment with Rituxan, patients should tell their doctor if they have an infection, including one that will not go away or that keeps coming back. If patients experience any symptoms or side effects during or after Rituxan treatment, they should seek immediate medical attention. These are not all of the possible side effects with Rituxan. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Please read the Rituxan full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide. If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.
WHAT IS RITUXAN?
Rituxan® (rituximab) is a prescription medicine used in adults with another prescription medicine called methotrexate, to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe active RA, after at least one other medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor has been used and did not work well enough.
Understanding potential side effects
As you look forward to experiencing the many benefits of Rituxan® (rituximab), it's important to monitor how you feel. Rituxan can also cause side effects, so be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any discomfort during or after treatment.
Common and potentially serious side effects
Rituxan can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:
- Infusion reactions. Infusion reactions are the most common side effect of Rituxan treatment. Serious infusion reactions can happen during your infusion or within 24 hours after your infusion
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
- PML is a rare brain infection
- PML usually causes death or severe disability
- Call your doctor right away if you notice any new or worsening medical problems, such as a new or sudden change in thinking, walking, strength, vision, or other problems that have lasted over several days
- PML usually happens in patients with weakened immune systems
- PML can occur during treatment with Rituxan or after treatment has finished. There is no known treatment, prevention, or cure for PML
- Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS). TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of certain types of cancer cells. Patients receiving Rituxan for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) may get TLS
- Severe skin and mouth reactions. Tell your doctor or get medical treatment right away if you get any of these symptoms: painful sores on your skin or in your mouth, ulcers, blisters, or peeling skin while receiving or after receiving Rituxan
Rituxan can cause other serious and life-threatening side effects, including:
- Hepatitis B virus reactivation. Tell your doctor if you have had hepatitis B virus or are a carrier of hepatitis B virus. Receiving Rituxan could cause the hepatitis B virus to become an active infection again. Hepatitis B reactivation may cause serious liver problems and death. People with active liver disease due to hepatitis B should stop receiving Rituxan. Your doctor should monitor you for hepatitis B infection during and for several months after you stop receiving Rituxan.
- Infections. Rituxan can increase your chances of getting infections. Rituxan can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of infection including fever, cold and flu symptoms, ear and headache, pain during urination, white patches in the mouth or throat and cuts, scrapes or incisions that are red, warm, swollen or painful. These symptoms may be signs of a serious infection. Before treatment with Rituxan, patients should tell their doctor if they have an infection, including one that will not go away or keeps coming back.
- Heart problems. Tell your doctor about any heart problems you have, including chest pain (angina) and irregular heart beats. Rituxan can cause chest pain and irregular heartbeats, which may require treatment
- Low blood cell counts. Your doctor may do blood tests during treatment with Rituxan to check your blood cell counts
Common side effects during Rituxan infusions include fever, headache, chills and shakes, nausea, itching, hives, cough, sneezing, and throat irritation or tightness.
Other side effects with Rituxan include infections, nausea, diarrhea, headache, muscle spasms, anemia, and peripheral edema (swollen hands and feet).
These are not all of the possible side effects with Rituxan. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Please read the Rituxan full Prescribing Information including the Medication Guide.
If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.
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