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

This article looks at the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma survival rate as well as the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma mortality rate ....

The term NK T cell lymphoma refers to one of two subtypes of lymphoma that affect the NK (Natural Killer)...

Canine lymphoma is a fairly common cancer in American dogs. The most commonly seen lymphoma in America is a type called Lymphosarcoma, although...

Prednisone is a glucocorticosteroid (a steroid) used in the treatment of many types of cancers. It functions as an anti-inflammatory medicine that...

Marginal zone lymphomas (MZL) are indolent lymphomas that affect the B-cells. The...

Large Cell Lymphoma (LCL) is typically an aggressive (fast growing) cancer of either the B cell or T cell type. They are one of the most common...

A B cell is a type of lymphocyte that produces antibodies to fight infections. These are the most prevalent lymphocytes in the bloodstream and are...

Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHLs) are fast growing cancers (as opposed to indolent cancers). They involve...

A lymphoma prognosis varies greatly depending on the type of lymphoma. There are more than 35 types of lymphoma, including 5 types of...

What causes lymphoma is not well known. DNA mutations may be what causes lymphoma to develop but what triggers these mutations is...

Often the one who makes the first diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma / Disease is the person affected. There are some...

Lymphedema is abnormal swelling due to the presence of excess lymphatic fluid within the tissues. This swelling occurs when the...

RICE is an acronym for an anti-cancer treatment that expresses a combination chemotherapeutic regimen. This regimen is written variously as "R+ICE...

Hodgkin's Disease—also referred to as Hodgkin's Lymphoma, these are the exact same diseases, just...

Lymphoma is a cancer affecting the white blood cells (lymphocytes) of the body's immune system. The cells begin to grow abnormally and much faster...