What are the possible side effects of Rituxan?
Rituxan can cause serious side effects, including:
Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. TLS can cause you to have:
- Kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment
- Abnormal heart rhythm
TLS can happen within 12 to 24 hours after an infusion of Rituxan. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check you for TLS. Your healthcare provider may give you medicine to help prevent TLS.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms of TLS:
- lack of energy
- Serious Infections: Serious infections can happen during and after treatment with Rituxan, and can lead to death. Rituxan can increase your risk of getting infections and can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Types of serious infections that can happen with Rituxan include bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. After receiving Rituxan, some people have developed low levels of certain antibodies in their blood for a long period of time (longer than 11 months). Some of these patients with low antibody levels developed infections. People with serious infections should not receive Rituxan. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of infection:
- cold symptoms, such as runny nose or sore throat, that do not go away
- flu symptoms, such as cough, tiredness, and body aches
- earache or headache
- pain during urination
- cold sores in the mouth or throat
- cuts, scrapes, or incisions that are red, warm, swollen, or painful
- Heart Problems: Rituxan may cause chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and heart attack. Your healthcare provider may monitor your heart during and after treatment with Rituxan if you have symptoms of heart problems or have a history of heart problems. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have chest pain or irregular heartbeats during treatment with Rituxan
- Kidney Problems: especially if you are receiving Rituxan for non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Rituxan can cause severe kidney problems that lead to death. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
- Stomach and Serious Bowel Problems That Can Sometimes Lead to Death: Bowel problems, including blockage or tears in the bowel, can happen if you receive Rituxan with chemotherapy medicines. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any stomach-area (abdomen) pain or repeated vomiting during treatment with Rituxan
Your healthcare provider will stop treatment with Rituxan if you have severe, serious, or life-threatening side effects.