This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about either your medical condition or your treatment with Rituxan. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any questions about your treatment with Rituxan.
What does Rituxan treat?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): with another prescription medicine called methotrexate, to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe active RA in adults, after treatment with at least one other medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist has been used and did not work well enough.
People with serious infections should not receive Rituxan. It is not known if Rituxan is safe or effective in children.
Important Side Effect Information
What is the most important information I should know about Rituxan?
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
- Severe skin and mouth reactions: painful sores or ulcers on your skin, lips, or in your mouth, blisters, peeling skin, rash, pustules
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation: if you have had hepatitis B or are a carrier of hepatitis B virus, receiving Rituxan could cause the virus to become an active infection again
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): a rare, serious brain infection caused by a virus
What are the possible side effects of Rituxan?
Rituxan can cause serious and life-threatening 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 or may cause an abnormal heart rhythm
- Serious infections: serious infections can happen during and after treatment with Rituxan and can lead to death
- Heart problems: Rituxan may cause chest pain and irregular heartbeat, which may need treatment, or your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with Rituxan
- Kidney problems: especially if you are receiving Rituxan for NHL. Your doctor should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
- Stomach and serious bowel problems that can sometimes lead to death: tell your doctor right away if you have any stomach area pain during treatment with Rituxan
- Low blood cell counts: your doctor may do blood tests during treatment with Rituxan to check your blood cell counts
What are common side effects during treatment with Rituxan?
- Infusion reactions
- Body aches
- Low white blood cell count
Other side effects include:
- Aching joints during or within hours of receiving an infusion
- More frequent upper respiratory tract infections
You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.
Please see the Rituxan Medication Guide including most serious side effects for additional important safety information.
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