July 22, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

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Rituxan

(rituximab)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02241927 RITUXAN 10 MG/ML INTRAVENOUS SOLUTION

How does Rituxan work? What will it do for me?

Rituximab belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. It is used to treat:

  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (in combination with methotrexate) in adults who have not responded to treatment with a group of medications called biologics or tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers

Rituximab works in cancer and rheumatoid arthritis by attacking and killing the cells that are causing the condition.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Rituxan?

This medication should only be given by health care professionals that are experienced treating the conditions that rituximab is used for.

For non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia the recommended dose and dosing schedule of rituximab varies according to body size, the condition being treated, and other medication being used.

It is injected intravenously (into a vein) by a health care professional, usually in a clinical setting such as a hospital clinic, over a period of time. This process is called an intravenous infusion.

For rheumatoid arthritis, the recommended dose is 1,000 mg for the first dose, followed 2 weeks later by a second dose of 1,000 mg. The medication is injected into a vein (IV) over a period of time in by a health care professional, usually in a clinic setting.

Very careful handling of this medication is required. It is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.

It is important to receive this medication exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive rituximab, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Many things can affect the dose and schedule of medication that a person needs, such as body size, other medical conditions, and other medications. Your doctor may choose a schedule different from the one above.

This medication is stored in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C and protected from light.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Rituxan come in?

Each mL of sterile, clear, colourless liquid concentrate for IV (intravenous) administration contains 10 mg of rituximab. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hydrochloric acid, polysorbate 80, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide, and sterile water for injection. This medication does not contain preservatives.

Who should NOT take Rituxan?

Do not receive this medication if you:

  • are allergic to rituximab or any ingredients of this medication
  • are allergic to proteins of similar origin
  • have a severe infection
  • have or have had progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) - a rare disorder associated with nerve damage in the brain

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