Side effects of rituximab are common and may include:
- Fever and chills. This is more common within the first 1 to 2 hours of the first infusion.
- Swelling of the face, lips, and eyelids (angioedema).
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Skin rash.
- Sore throat.
In some cases, rituximab has been associated with serious side effects such as breathing difficulty, heart problems, or severe infection. For this reason, the use of rituximab is closely watched.
Rituximab may make heart damage worse in people who already have heart disease. Frequent tests are needed to monitor heart function while this medicine is taken.
In some people who have a history of Reference hepatitis B virus (HBV) Opens New Window infection, rituximab may cause the virus to begin multiplying again, leading to severe liver problems. These people should have tests to monitor liver function during and for several months following rituximab treatment. Also, people who have a high risk of HBV infection should be screened before starting treatment with rituximab to make sure an HBV infection is not present.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: March 29, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology