Rituxan infusion possible side effects-a patients perspective

Rituxan infusion possible side effects-a patients perspective

As expected I was extremely tired after. It’s because of the large amount of Benadryl that is given. I was in bed asleep by 9:00. I’d love to say that was unusual for me, but during the week that’s my normal bed time.  I woke up with a little stomach ache. That can be a number of reasons but it is listed as a side effect of the rituxan. I don’t remember it from any of the other times I took the medicine.

I know I’ll feel sluggish most of today and bloated. On top of the steroids they also pumped in two huge bags of liquids with the rituxan medicine. If I decided to step on the scale today, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 5lb or more weight gain. That is just from the infusion. Its scary what these medicines really can do in the course of 24 hours to your body. It will come off in a few days but until it does, that bloat feeling is very uncomfortable.

Rituxan in detail-patient information-side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; chest tightness, trouble breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people receiving a rituximab injection have had a reaction to the infusion (within 24 hours after the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel dizzy, weak, light-headed, short of breath, or if you have chest pain, wheezing, sudden cough, or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest.

Rituximab increases the risk of a serious viral infection of the brain that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as confusion, trouble concentrating, problems with speech or walking, vision problems, or weakness on one side of your body.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects, even if they occur several months after you receive rituximab, or after your treatment ends.

fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, feeling weak or tired;
ongoing cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
headache, earache, painful mouth ulcers, skin sores, warmth or
swelling with skin redness;
pain or burning when you urinate, urinating less than usual;
severe skin rash with blistering, itching, peeling, or pus;
weak pulse, fainting, overactive reflexes;
muscle weakness, tightness, or contraction; or
lower back pain, blood in your urine, numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth.
Other common side effects may include:

mild stomach pain, nausea, or diarrhea;
muscle or joint pain;
back pain; or
night sweats.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice abou
t side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

As you go further up the ladder in MS drug therapies, the drugs side effects are more dangerous and more complications can occur. It is important to really understand the risk versus benefits when you get to these drugs for MS. Right now these are your some of the infusion therapies; Rituxan or Ocrelizumab, Lemtrada, Novantrone and Tysabri.  Just remember knowledge is power. Research and question if your looking into any of these drugs for multiple sclerosis.

I was on Tysabri for 18 months and never had any adverse side effects. This is my 3rd infusion with Rituxan and except for minor side effects, I’ve been fine. Like MS, drug reactions are different in everyone. I can only tell you from my own experiences.


2 thoughts on “Rituxan infusion possible side effects-a patients perspective

  1. I had my second Rituximab Infusion today. I’m very bloated and feeling sluggish all over. Is this a common side effect? Also my Asthma has flared up. I’ve been coughing a lot. I started my Symbacort and Ventolin inhalers.

    1. The bloating is extremely normal, all those liquids that go with that confusion. Drink plenty of water. As far as the asthma I can’t answer cause I don’t have asthma but I would think with the steroids that go prior to Rituxan that the opposite iwould’ve happened.

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