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In the U.S.-
Rituximab (ri-TUX-i-mab) is a monoclonal antibody. It is used to treat a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Rituximab is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor. It is available in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For rituximab, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual reaction to rituximab or to mouse proteins.
Pregnancy- Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. However, rituximab is related to immunoglobulin, which affects the baby's ability to fight infection and which does cross the placenta. Women who are able to bear children should use some kind of birth control during treatment with rituximab and for up to 12 months after treatment has ended. Before receiving this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.
Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while receiving rituximab.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether rituximab passes into the breast milk. However, because of the possibility of serious effects, breast-feeding is not recommended while you are receiving this medicine and for a while after you stop receiving it. Discuss with your doctor the proper time to begin breast-feeding after treatment with rituximab.
Children- Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of rituximab in children with use in other age groups.
Older adults- This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking rituximab it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of rituximab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially heart problems (angina; arrhythmias) lung problems, high number of cancerous cells in your body, kidney problems, or sensitivity or a previous severe allergic reaction to rituximab or to mouse proteins.
Proper Use of This Medicine
The dose of rituximab will be different for different patients. The dose that is used may depend on a number of things, including your weight. Rituximab is usually given by a doctor or nurse in the hospital or an outpatient clinic. If you have any questions about the proper dose of rituximab, ask your doctor.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
This medicine may also cause the following side effects that your doctor will watch for:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time check with your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, rituximab is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Other than the above information, there is no additional information relating to proper use, precautions, or side effects for these uses.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT