Your healthcare provider will administer rituximab intravenously via an IV infusion that will last for several hours. The recommended rituximab dosage will depend on various factors, such as your height and weight, other medical conditions you have, and other medications you are taking. Make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you notice anything abnormal during your infusion.
An Introduction to Dosing With RituximabThe dose of rituximab (Rituxan®) your healthcare provider recommends may vary, depending on several factors, such as:
- The medical condition being treated
- Your height and weight
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you are taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosing schedule by missing or canceling doses unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Recommended Rituximab DosageFor cancer treatment, your healthcare provider will base your rituximab dose on your body surface area, which is calculated using your height and weight. The dosage will vary, depending on your particular treatment regimen, as well as the particular type of cancer being treated.
For treating rheumatoid arthritis, the standard rituximab dosage is two 1000-mg infusions, separated by two weeks. This can be repeated every 16 to 24 weeks as necessary. For this condition, rituximab is almost always used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®).
No matter what medical condition rituximab is being used to treat, it is essential that your healthcare provider starts your IV at a very slow drip and increases it only as you tolerate the drug. Rituximab often causes "infusion reactions," which can range from mild to lethal (see Side Effects of Rituximab for more information).
In addition, you should be "premedicated" before each dose of rituximab with certain medications (usually acetaminophen, an antihistamine, and often a steroid) to help limit the chance and severity of infusion reactions.