Rituximab injection and rituximab-abbs injection are biologic medications (medications made from living organisms). Biosimilar rituximab-abbs injection is highly similar to rituximab injection and works the same way as rituximab injection in the body. Therefore, the term rituximab products will be used to represent these medications in this discussion.
You may experience a serious reaction while you receive or within 24 hours after receiving a dose of a rituximab injection product. These reactions usually happen during the first dose of a rituximab injection product and may cause death. You will receive each dose of a rituximab injection product in a medical facility, and a doctor or nurse will monitor you carefully while you are receiving the medication. You will receive certain medications to help prevent an allergic reaction before you receive each dose of a rituximab injection product . Tell your doctor if you have ever had a reaction to a rituximab product or if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, other heart problems, or lung problems. If you experience any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately: hives; rash; itching; swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat; difficulty breathing or swallowing; dizziness; fainting; shortness of breath, wheezing; headache; pounding or irregular heartbeat; fast or weak pulse; pale or bluish skin; pain in the chest that may spread to other parts of the upper body; weakness; or heavy sweating.
Rituximab injection products have caused severe, life-threatening skin and mouth reactions. If you experience any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately: painful sores or ulcers on the skin, lips, or mouth; blisters; rash; or peeling skin.
You may already be infected with hepatitis B (a virus that infects the liver and may cause severe liver damage) but not have any symptoms of the disease. In this case, receiving a rituximab injection product may increase the risk that your infection will become more serious or life-threatening and you will develop symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have or ever had a severe infection, including hepatitis B virus infection. Your doctor will order a blood test to see if you have an inactive hepatitis B infection. If necessary, your doctor may give you medication to treat this infection before and during your treatment with a rituximab injection product. Your doctor will also monitor you for signs of hepatitis B infection during and for several months after your treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms during or after your treatment, call your doctor immediately: excessive tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, muscle aches, stomach pain, or dark urine.
Some people who received a rituximab injection product developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML; a rare infection of the brain that cannot be treated, prevented, or cured and that usually causes death or severe disability) during or after their treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: new or sudden changes in thinking or confusion; difficulty talking or walking; loss of balance; loss of strength; new or sudden changes in vision; or any other unusual symptoms that develop suddenly.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to a rituximab injection product.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with rituximab injection and each time you receive the medication. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of using a rituximab injection product.
Rituximab injection products are used alone or with other medications to treat various types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL; a type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection). Rituximab injection products are also used with other medications to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells). Rituximab injection (Rituxan) is also used with methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Xatmep, others) to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA; a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in adults who have already been treated with a certain type of medication called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor. Rituximab injection (Rituxan) is also used with other medications to treat granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and microscopic polyangiitis, which are conditions in which the body attacks its own veins and other blood vessels, which causes damage to organs, such as the heart and lungs. Rituximab injection (Rituxan) is used to treat pemphigus vulgaris (a condition that causes painful blisters on the skin and the lining the mouth, nose, throat and genitals). Rituximab injection products are in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. They treat the various types of NHL and CLL by killing cancer cells. Rituximab injection (Rituxan) treats rheumatoid arthritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, microscopic polyangiitis, and pemphigus vulgaris by blocking the activity of the part of the immune system that may damage the joints, veins, and other blood vessels.
Rituximab injection products come as a solution (liquid) to be injected into a vein. Rituximab injection products are administered by a doctor or nurse in a medical office or infusion center. Your dosing schedule will depend on the condition that you have, the other medications you are using, and how well your body responds to treatment.
Rituximab injection products must be given slowly into a vein. It may take several hours or longer to receive your first dose of a rituximab injection product, so you should plan to spend most of the day at the medical office or infusion center.After the first dose, you may receive a rituximab injection product more quickly, depending on how you respond to treatment.
You may experience symptoms such as fever, shaking chills, tiredness, headache, or nausea while you are receiving a dose of a rituximab product, especially the first dose. Tell your doctor or other healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms while you are receiving your medication. Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help prevent or relieve these symptoms. Your doctor will tell you to take these medications before you receive each dose of a rituximab product.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before receiving a rituximab injection product,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If you miss an appointment to receive a rituximab injection product, call your doctor right away.
Rituximab injection products may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
Rituximab injection products may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: September 15, 2019.