As each patient is an individual your experience will be different to other patients receiving rituximab.
• A rare side effect is an allergic reaction. Signs of this include skin rashes and itching, a feeling of swelling in the tongue or throat, irritation of the nasal passages, wheezing, a cough and breathlessness. You will be monitored closely during your treatment, but let your nurse or doctor know if you have any of these symptoms.
Common side effects that you may experience during treatment are:-
• Flu-like symptoms - These can include a high temperature, chills, weakness, muscle aches, tiredness, dizziness and headaches. They can occur while the rituximab is being given.
• Low blood temperature - This may happen during the infusion, so your blood pressure will be regularly checked. People who normally take medication to lower their blood pressure may be advised by the doctor to take these at least 12 hours before the rituximab is given.
• Nausea and vomiting - These are very occasional symptoms. However anti sickness drugs are very effective if necessary. If you experience these problems during treatment please inform your nurse.
• Tumour pain - Mild pain may be experienced in areas where the cancer is situated in the body. Please ask if you require pain relief.
• Flushing - A sudden warmth, redness or darkening of the face is a possible side effect of the treatment, it may happen for a short period of time during the infusion.
Please contact Ward 6b or Ward 8 if you experience any of these symptoms.
Many people feel tired and have low energy levels whilst undergoing treatment. There is very little you can do to avoid this but research has shown that patients who suffer fatigue need to take gentle exercise and rest often. This feeling of fatigue is quite normal and energy levels will begin to improve once treatment is completed