Rituximab - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Rituximab is used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In addition, this drug can also be used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when therapy with other drugs is less effective.

In cancer treatment, rituximab works by inhibiting and stopping the growth of cancer cells. Meanwhile, in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, this drug works by reducing inflammation by suppressing the immune system, so that symptoms such as pain and swelling in the joints can subside.

rituximab trademark: Mabthera, Rituxikal, Rituxsanbe, Truxima, Redditux

What is Rituximab

groupPrescription drugs
Categoryanticancer drugs
BenefitTreats non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, lymphocytic leukemia, and rheumatoid arthritis
Consumed byMature
Rituximab for pregnant and lactating womenCategory C:Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

It is not known whether Rituximab is absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug formInject

Precautions Before Using Rituximab

There are several things you should pay attention to before using rituximab, including:

  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Rituximab should not be given to patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, arrhythmia, kidney disease, lung disease, or blood disorder.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are at risk of developing an infectious disease, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, herpes, or cytomegalovirus.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a weakened immune system due to certain diseases or medications.
  • Talk to your doctor if you plan to vaccinate while on treatment with rituximab as this drug may affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy. Use effective contraception while on treatment with this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • See your doctor right away if you experience a drug allergic reaction, overdose, or serious side effect after using rituximab.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Rituximab

The dose of rituximab will be determined according to the condition to be treated and the patient's surface area (LPT). This drug is given by intravenous infusion. It will be given directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

In general, the following are the doses of injectable rituximab for adults based on the condition to be treated:

  • Condition: Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, follicular lymphoma

    The dose is 375 mg/m2 of body surface area once a week.

  • Condition: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    The initial dose is 375 mg/m2 body surface area, followed by 500 mg/m2 body surface area every 28 days.

  • Condition: Rheumatoid arthritis

    The dose is 1,000 mg, twice, with an interval of 2 weeks. Dosage adjustments can be made every 24 weeks or according to the patient's condition and body response.

How to Use Rituximab Correctly

Always follow your doctor's advice before using rituximab. Rituximab will be given directly in the hospital by a doctor or medical personnel under the supervision of a doctor.

Rituximab is given slowly by intravenous infusion (IV) over several hours, the duration of drug administration will be adjusted according to the patient's condition and response.

Before starting to take rituximab, you will be asked to have a blood test. You will also be asked to have regular medical check-ups while on treatment with rituximab to determine your body's response to treatment.

Rituximab Interactions with Other Drugs

There are several interactions that can occur if rituximab is used with other drugs, namely:

  • Increased risk of kidney damage if used with cisplatin
  • Decreased effectiveness of live vaccines, such as influenza vaccines and increased risk of infection from these vaccines
  • Increased risk of fatal infection with adalimumab, baricitib, clozapine, or fingolimod

Side Effects and Dangers of Rituximab

The following are some of the side effects that can occur after using rituximab:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Fever or chills
  • Tired or feeling weak
  • Diarrhea
  • Flushing or a feeling of warmth and warmth in the face, neck, or chest
  • Swelling in the feet or hands
  • Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site

Tell your doctor if these side effects do not improve or if they get worse. See your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to a drug or a more serious side effect, such as:

  • Chest pain that doesn't go away or an irregular heartbeat
  • Severe infection of the brain (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML), which can be characterized by symptoms such as sudden loss of balance, confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, visual disturbances, seizures, or difficulty walking
  • Liver disease that can be characterized by symptoms such as severe nausea or vomiting, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, jaundice, or dark urine
  • Tumor lysis syndrome which can be characterized by symptoms such as severe back or waist pain, impaired kidney function, such as bloody urine, pain when urinating, or muscle stiffness
  • Easy bruising, vomiting blood, pale, bloody or black stools
  • Infectious disease that can be characterized by fever or sore throat that does not go away