Rituximab is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat cancer of the blood and lymph tissue.
This medicine may also be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (joint pain and swelling) and blood vessel disorder (e.g. inflammation of blood vessels).
Rituximab is to be given intravenously (into the vein) via drip. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
This medicine is usually given over many hours. You will need to rest in the hospital ward or clinic while you are on Rituximab drip.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Before the Rituximab drip is started, you may be given other medicines to prevent or lessen the side effects of this medicine.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to be given Rituximab.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any dose. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Rituximab.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have severe or active infections as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- lung disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. The vaccine may not work well or may cause an infection when used together with Rituximab. Do not have any vaccinations without first asking your doctor for advise.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Routine blood tests may be needed before you use this medicine or thereafter depending on your doctor’s advise.
Rituximab may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach pain, muscle or joint pain, difficulty sleeping, fever, tiredness, chills, headache, weakness, rashes, itch, pain or swelling at the injection site.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth, ankles, feet or hand
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers
- difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, severe wheezing or coughing
- severe chest pain or irregular heartbeat
- severe rashes
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are using other medicines to treat cancer such as cisplatin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
If you notice that the solution has changed colour or has become cloudy, do not use it.
Store Rituximab in its original carton and protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.