- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- If you have had hepatitis B before or carry the virus, Rituxan Hycela (rituximab and hyaluronidase) can cause the virus to become active. This can lead to very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems. You will be tested for hepatitis B before starting this medicine. You will need to watch for signs of hepatitis while taking Rituxan Hycela and for several months after stopping it. Talk with your doctor.
- A very bad brain problem called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) has happened with this medicine. It may cause disability or can be deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs like confusion, memory problems, low mood (depression), change in the way you act, change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight.
Uses of Rituxan Hycela:
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Rituxan Hycela?
- If you have an allergy to Rituxan Hycela or any part of this medicine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have an infection.
- If you have recently had a live vaccine
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Rituxan Hycela or within 6 months after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Rituxan Hycela with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Rituxan Hycela?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more of a chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu. Some infections have been very bad and even deadly.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly allergic reactions have rarely happened with other forms of Rituxan Hycela as well as drugs like this one. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this medicine may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- Skin reactions have happened where the shot is given or close to the area. This includes pain, swelling, hardness, redness, bleeding, itching, and rash. These skin reactions have also happened more than 24 hours after the injection. Talk with your doctor if you have a skin reaction near where the shot was given.
- People who took Rituxan Hycela with some cancer drugs have had bowel block or tears in the bowel. Sometimes this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have very bad belly pain; very hard stools (constipation); throwing up, throwing up blood, or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; or black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Patients with cancer who take this medicine may be at a greater risk of getting a bad health problem called tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat or a heartbeat that does not feel normal; any passing out; trouble passing urine; muscle weakness or cramps; upset stomach, throwing up, loose stools, or not able to eat; or feel sluggish.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called cytokine release syndrome (CRS) has happened in people getting Rituxan Hycela (rituximab and hyaluronidase). Call your doctor right away if you have chills, dizziness, feeling tired or weak, fever, headache, passing out, rash, swelling of the face, trouble breathing, upset stomach or throwing up, or wheezing.
- Heart problems have happened with this medicine. Sometimes, these have been life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
- Heart failure has rarely happened in people taking Rituxan Hycela. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine and for up to 12 months after Rituxan Hycela.
- If you get pregnant while taking this medicine or within 12 months after your last dose, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Rituxan Hycela) best taken?
Use Rituxan Hycela as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an injection into the fatty part of the skin in the belly area. It will take 5 to 7 minutes to inject this medicine.
- Other drugs will be given with Rituxan Hycela to help avoid side effects.
- You will be watched closely while you receive this medicine and for some time after your dose. Talk with your doctor.
- If you take other drugs as an injection into the fatty part of the skin, do not give into the same site where Rituxan Hycela was given.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly kidney problems have happened with this medicine. Call your doctor right away if you are unable to pass urine or if you have blood in the urine or a change in the amount of urine passed.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly lung problems have happened with Rituxan Hycela. Call your doctor right away if you have lung or breathing problems like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.
What are some other side effects of Rituxan Hycela?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where the shot is given.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
- Not hungry.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Hair loss.
- Signs of a common cold.
- Nose or throat irritation.
- Muscle spasm.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Bone pain.
- Back pain.
- Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Rituxan Hycela?
- If you need to store this medicine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Rituxan Hycela (rituximab and hyaluronidase) is refilled. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Rituxan Hycela or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Rituxan Hycela. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Review Date: February 7, 2018
More about Rituxan Hycela (hyaluronidase / rituximab)
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- Drug class: CD20 monoclonal antibodies