What is rituximab?
Rituximab is anprescription medicine approved by the U.S. (FDA) for the treatment of certain types of cancer, including and leukemia. Rituximab is also FDA-approved for the treatment of certain .
A rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, called What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.(PEL), is often associated with (HHV-8) infection. HHV-8 infection can be an (OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened —such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo
How is rituximab used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV include recommendations on the uses of rituximab to treat diseases, including (PEL) and (MCD).
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of rituximab. See the Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of rituximab in adults and adolescents with HIV. Rituximab may have other recommended uses not listed above.
What should I tell my health care provider before using rituximab?
Before using rituximab, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to rituximab or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, including:
- Severe reaction to a previous of rituximab or a rituximab product
- Liver problems, especially (HBV)
- Heart problems, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain
- Lung or problems
- or weakened
- If you have recently received a or if you are scheduled to receive a vaccination.
- About any health conditions that may prevent you from receiving medicine by .
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Rituximab can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your health care provider about the risks of using rituximab during pregnancy.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed viral load have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Rituximab may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how rituximab works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between rituximab and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from rituximab. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I use rituximab?
Rituximab is given byover a period of time. It is administered by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic. Your health care provider will determine the amount of rituximab you receive and how often you receive it.
Read any printed information that your health care provider gives you about rituximab.
Where can I find more information about rituximab?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of rituximab, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (solution). The Medication Guide includes information for people receiving rituximab.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for rituximab injection available from MedlinePlus.
- Research studies related to rituximab, from ClinicalTrials.gov. (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests. To learn more about the ClinicalTrials.gov search features, please see How to Search.)
Last Reviewed: June 5, 2023