What Are the Side Effects of Rituxan?

The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody Rituxan is effective in treating patients with certain B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas along with a number of other indications.

It does, however, cause a number of side effects. No patient will experience all of the potential side effects of Rituxan; some will experience many, others will experience few.

It is extremely important to notify one's physician or health care team of any side effects upon receiving Rituxan, for some indicate a crisis and require immediate medical attention.

The most immediate and dangerous potential side effect of Rituxan is an allergic reaction.

Potential side effects of Rituxan

  • Blood in urine or painful urination
  • Low back pain
  • Muscle problems: contraction, weakness, tightness
  • Breathing problems, or changes in heart rate
  • Confusion, dizziness, weakness on one side of the body
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea, sweating
  • Flu symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches
  • Bruising easily
  • Earaches, mouth ulcers
  • Skin rashes or skin sores
  • Severe constipation
  • Night sweats

Major side effects

  • Tumor lysis syndrome, a metabolic crisis in which many cancer cells die en masse, flooding the bloodstream with chemicals.
  • Immunosuppression, which makes the patient much more vulnerable to infection than under other circumstances.
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), a fatal brain virus that has been linked to Rituxan.
  • Hepatitis B reactivation

Infusion reactions, which can be mitigated at the time of infusion

  • Urticaria
  • Hypotension
  • Angioedema
  • Hypoxia
  • Bronchospasm
  • Pulmonary infiltrates
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Cardiogenic shock

An extensive list of all reported side effects of Rituxan can be found via the manufacturer's website.

More Articles

More Articles

Amazon.com is pleased to have the Lymphoma Information Network in the family of Amazon.com associates. We've agreed to ship items...

The question ought to be what are myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), since this is a group of similar blood and bone marrow diseases that...

Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) is a very rare and aggressive skin cancer that usually develops when a person is in his or her 70s. It is...

Radiation Therapy Topics


At some point, the Seattle biotech company Cell Therapeutics Inc (CTI) should earn an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for utter and...

Site Beginnings

This site was started as Lymphoma Resource Page(s) in 1994. The site was designed to collect lymphoma...

Three papers appearing in the journal Blood and pointing towards a regulator-suppressor pill could offer hope to blood cancer...

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a third so-called Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the investigational oral...

The US Food and Drug Administration today has approved an expanded use of Imbruvica (ibrutinib) in patients with...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that it has granted "Breakthrough Therapy Designation" for the investigational agent...

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team from the University of California, San...

Pharmacyclics has announced that the company has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for...

New research suggests that frontline radioimmunotherapy...

Gilead Sciences has announced results of the company's Phase II study of its investigational compound idelalisib, an oral inhibitor of...