Rituxan is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Rituxan may be prescribed alone or in combination with other antilymphoma drugs. Rituxan may be used as part of a chemotherapy regimen or as maintenance therapy after a course of chemotherapy has been completed. Rituxan is also known by its drug name, rituximab.
Rituxan is a biologic drug — a genetically engineered protein, or antibody, that attacks specific biological markers. In cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Rituxan is believed to work by targeting the CD20 antigen — a protein located on the surface of some B-lymphocytes — and subsequently killing these cells.
How do I take it?
Rituxan is administered as an intravenous infusion. Rituxan dosage depends on how the drug is being used. Prescribing information lists once-weekly administration for most cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Rituxan comes in the form of a single-dose vial.
The FDA-approved label for Rituxan lists common side effects including fever, chills, weakness, increased risk for infections, and infusion reactions.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Rituxan can include life-threatening cardiac events, kidney dysfunction, bowel obstruction or perforation, fetal harm in pregnant women, reactivation of certain infections including hepatitis B, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, and tumor lysis syndrome (a potentially fatal metabolic condition caused when many cancer cells die at the same time).
Those receiving Rituxan infusions should avoid live attenuated vaccines.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Rituxan — Genentech
Immunotherapy — Lymphoma Research Foundation
Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma — American Cancer Society