Therapies & Conditions: RITUXAN (rituximab) is a CD20-directed cytolytic antibody indicated for the treatment of adult patients with:
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) (1.1)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) (1.2).
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in combination with methotrexate in adult patients with moderately-to severely-active RA who have inadequate response to one or more TNF antagonist therapies (1.3).
- Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener’s Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) in adult patients in combination with glucocorticoids (1.4).
- Moderate to severe Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) in adult patients (1.5).
Administration: Dosage varies by condition and patient circumstances; typical dose for NHL is 375 mgmg/m(2), and for CLL the typical dose is 375 mg/m(2) in the first cycle and 500 mg/m2 in cycles 2−6, in combination with FC, administered every 28 days.
Method: Intravenous use only. Do Not administer orally.
Side Effects: Most common adverse reactions in clinical trials were:
- NHL (≥25%): infusion reactions, fever, lymphopenia, chills, infection and asthenia (6.1).
- CLL (≥25%): infusion reactions and neutropenia (6.1).
- RA (≥10%): upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, urinary tract infection, and bronchitis (other important adverse reactions include infusion reactions, serious infections, and cardiovascular events) (6.2).
- GPA and MPA (≥15 %): infections, nausea, diarrhea, headache, muscle spasms, anemia, peripheral edema (other important adverse reactions include infusion reactions) (6.3).
- PV (≥15%): infusion reactions, depression (other important adverse reactions include infections) (6.4).
To report suspected adverse reactions, contact Genentech at 1-888-835-2555 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For more detailed information on Rituximab, please visit FDA.gov
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Infusion Therapy?
Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter. It is usually prescribed when a patient’s condition cannot be treated with oral medication. Read more about infusion therapy treatments.
- Is home infusion therapy safe?
Home and alternate site infusion therapy is a proven, safe and effective alternative to hospital inpatient care.[*]Bhole, M. V., Burton, J., & Chapel, H. M. (2008). Self-infusion programmes for immunoglobulin replacement at home: Feasibility, safety and efficacy. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America,28(4), 821-832. [*]Souayah, N., Hasan, A., Khan, H., et al. (2011). The safety profile of home infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin in patients with neuroimmunologic disorders.Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease, 12(suppl 4), S1-10. For most people, receiving treatment at home or in an alternate treatment setting, like an infusion suite, is preferable to hospital inpatient care. It can provide comfort and convenience for patients and offers less interruption to their daily activities. It can also be a cost-effective alternative to expensive hospital stays.[*]Home infusion therapy: Differences between Medicare and private insurers’ coverage. (2010, June). United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Requesters. Accessed July 23, 2012: http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/305261.pdf. [*]Einodshofer, M. (2012). A plan for medical specialty medications – increase member access, affordability and outcomes while decreasing plan costs. Presented at: 2012 Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute Annual Drug Benefit Conference; 2012 Feb. 22-24; Scottsdale, Ariz.
- What medical conditions can be treated with infusion therapy?
We work closely with doctors and healthcare providers to clinically manage patients with a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, including but not limited to:
- Infectious diseases
- Nutritional/gastrointestinal disorders
- Cancer and hematological disorders
- Primary immune deficiencies
- Autoimmune disorders
- End-stage heart failure
- Pre- and post-transplantation support