Data from FDA - Curated by EPG Health - Last updated 05 July 2018

Indication(s)

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE RITUXAN (rituximab) is a CD20-directed cytolytic antibody indicated for the treatment of adult patients with: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) (1.1). Relapsed or refractory, low grade or follicular, CD20-positive B-cell NHL as a single agent. Previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL in combination with first line chemotherapy and, in patients achieving a complete or partial response to RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy, as single-agent maintenance therapy. Non-progressing (including stable disease), low-grade, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent after first-line cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CVP) chemotherapy. Previously untreated diffuse large B-cell, CD20-positive NHL in combination with (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) (CHOP) or other anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) (1.2). Previously untreated and previously treated CD20-positive CLL in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC). Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in combination with methotrexate in adult patients with moderately-to severely-active RA who have inadequate response to one or more TNF antagonist therapies (1.3). Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) in adult patients in combination with glucocorticoids (1.4). Moderate to severe Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) in adult patients (1.5). 1.1 Non–Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) RITUXAN (rituximab) is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with: Relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent. Previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL in combination with first line chemotherapy and, in patients achieving a complete or partial response to RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy, as single-agent maintenance therapy. Non-progressing (including stable disease), low-grade, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent after first-line cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CVP) chemotherapy. Previously untreated diffuse large B-cell, CD20-positive NHL in combination with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone (CHOP) or other anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens. 1.2 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) RITUXAN is indicated, in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC), for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated and previously treated CD20-positive CLL. 1.3 Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) RITUXAN in combination with methotrexate is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately- to severely- active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more TNF antagonist therapies. 1.4 Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) RITUXAN, in combination with glucocorticoids, is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA). 1.5 Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) RITUXAN is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe pemphigus vulgaris.

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contraindications
4 CONTRAINDICATIONS None. None (4)
Adverse reactions
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling: Infusion reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] Severe mucocutaneous reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] Hepatitis B reactivation with fulminant hepatitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)] Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] Tumor lysis syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)] Infections [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)] Cardiovascular adverse reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] Renal toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)] Bowel obstruction and perforation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)] Most common adverse reactions in clinical trials were: NHL (≥ 25%): infusion reactions, fever, lymphopenia, chills, infection and asthenia (6.1). CLL (≥ 25%): infusion reactions and neutropenia (6.1). RA (≥ 10%): upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, urinary tract infection, and bronchitis (other important adverse reactions include infusion reactions, serious infections, and cardiovascular events) (6.2). GPA and MPA (≥15 %): infections, nausea, diarrhea, headache, muscle spasms, anemia, peripheral edema (other important adverse reactions include infusion reactions) (6.3). PV (≥15%): infusion reactions, depression (other important adverse reactions include infections) (6.4). To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Genentech at 1-888-835-2555 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience in Lymphoid Malignancies Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice. The data described below reflect exposure to RITUXAN in 2783 patients, with exposures ranging from a single infusion up to 2 years. RITUXAN was studied in both single-arm and controlled trials (n=356 and n=2427). The population included 1180 patients with low grade or follicular lymphoma, 927 patients with DLBCL, and 676 patients with CLL. Most NHL patients received RITUXAN as an infusion of 375 mg/m2 per infusion, given as a single agent weekly for up to 8 doses, in combination with chemotherapy for up to 8 doses, or following chemotherapy for up to 16 doses. CLL patients received RITUXAN 375 mg/m2 as an initial infusion followed by 500 mg/m2 for up to 5 doses, in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide. Seventy-one percent of CLL patients received 6 cycles and 90% received at least 3 cycles of RITUXAN-based therapy. The most common adverse reactions of RITUXAN (incidence ≥ 25%) observed in clinical trials of patients with NHL were infusion reactions, fever, lymphopenia, chills, infection, and asthenia. The most common adverse reactions of RITUXAN (incidence ≥ 25%) observed in clinical trials of patients with CLL were: infusion reactions and neutropenia. Infusion Reactions In the majority of patients with NHL, infusion reactions consisting of fever, chills/rigors, nausea, pruritus, angioedema, hypotension, headache, bronchospasm, urticaria, rash, vomiting, myalgia, dizziness, or hypertension occurred during the first RITUXAN infusion. Infusion reactions typically occurred within 30 to 120 minutes of beginning the first infusion and resolved with slowing or interruption of the RITUXAN infusion and with supportive care (diphenhydramine, acetaminophen, and intravenous saline). The incidence of infusion reactions was highest during the first infusion (77%) and decreased with each subsequent infusion. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. In patients with previously untreated follicular NHL or previously untreated DLBCL, who did not experience a Grade 3 or 4 infusion reaction in Cycle 1 and received a 90-minute infusion of RITUXAN at Cycle 2, the incidence of Grade 3-4 infusion reactions on the day of, or day after the infusion was 1.1% (95% CI [0.3%, 2.8%]). For Cycles 2-8, the incidence of Grade 3-4 infusion reactions on the day of or day after the 90-minute infusion, was 2.8% (95% CI [1.3%, 5.0%]). [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Clinical Studies (14.4)]. Infections Serious infections (NCI CTCAE Grade 3 or 4), including sepsis, occurred in less than 5% of patients with NHL in the single-arm studies. The overall incidence of infections was 31% (bacterial 19%, viral 10%, unknown 6%, and fungal 1%). [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]. In randomized, controlled studies where RITUXAN was administered following chemotherapy for the treatment of follicular or low-grade NHL, the rate of infection was higher among patients who received RITUXAN. In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients, viral infections occurred more frequently in those who received RITUXAN. Cytopenias and hypogammaglobulinemia In patients with NHL receiving rituximab monotherapy, NCI-CTC Grade 3 and 4 cytopenias were reported in 48% of patients. These included lymphopenia (40%), neutropenia (6%), leukopenia (4%), anemia (3%), and thrombocytopenia (2%). The median duration of lymphopenia was 14 days (range, 1–588 days) and of neutropenia was 13 days (range, 2–116 days). A single occurrence of transient aplastic anemia (pure red cell aplasia) and two occurrences of hemolytic anemia following RITUXAN therapy occurred during the single-arm studies. In studies of monotherapy, RITUXAN-induced B-cell depletion occurred in 70% to 80% of patients with NHL. Decreased IgM and IgG serum levels occurred in 14% of these patients. In CLL trials, the frequency of prolonged neutropenia and late-onset neutropenia was higher in patients treated with R-FC compared to patients treated with FC. Prolonged neutropenia is defined as Grade 3-4 neutropenia that has not resolved between 24 and 42 days after the last dose of study treatment. Late-onset neutropenia is defined as Grade 3-4 neutropenia starting at least 42 days after the last treatment dose. In patients with previously untreated CLL, the frequency of prolonged neutropenia was 8.5% for patients who received R-FC (n=402) and 5.8% for patients who received FC (n=398). In patients who did not have prolonged neutropenia, the frequency of late-onset neutropenia was 14.8% of 209 patients who received R-FC and 4.3% of 230 patients who received FC. For patients with previously treated CLL, the frequency of prolonged neutropenia was 24.8% for patients who received R-FC (n=274) and 19.1% for patients who received FC (n=274). In patients who did not have prolonged neutropenia, the frequency of late-onset neutropenia was 38.7% in 160 patients who received R-FC and 13.6% of 147 patients who received FC. Relapsed or Refractory, Low-Grade NHL Adverse reactions presented in Table 1 occurred in 356 patients with relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL treated in single-arm studies of RITUXAN administered as a single agent [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. Most patients received RITUXAN 375 mg/m2 weekly for 4 doses. Table 1 Incidence of Adverse Reactions in ≥ 5% of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory, Low-Grade or Follicular NHL, Receiving Single-agent RITUXAN (N=356)Adverse reactions observed up to 12 months following RITUXAN. , Adverse reactions graded for severity by NCI-CTC criteria. All Grades (%) Grade 3 and 4 (%) Any Adverse Reactions 99 57 Body as a Whole 86 10 Fever 53 1 Chills 33 3 Infection 31 4 Asthenia 26 1 Headache 19 1 Abdominal Pain 14 1 Pain 12 1 Back Pain 10 1 Throat Irritation 9 0 Flushing 5 0 Heme and Lymphatic System 67 48 Lymphopenia 48 40 Leukopenia 14 4 Neutropenia 14 6 Thrombocytopenia 12 2 Anemia 8 3 Skin and Appendages 44 2 Night Sweats 15 1 Rash 15 1 Pruritus 14 1 Urticaria 8 1 Respiratory System 38 4 Increased Cough 13 1 Rhinitis 12 1 Bronchospasm 8 1 Dyspnea 7 1 Sinusitis 6 0 Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders 38 3 Angioedema 11 1 Hyperglycemia 9 1 Peripheral Edema 8 0 LDH Increase 7 0 Digestive System 37 2 Nausea 23 1 Diarrhea 10 1 Vomiting 10 1 Nervous System 32 1 Dizziness 10 1 Anxiety 5 1 Musculoskeletal System 26 3 Myalgia 10 1 Arthralgia 10 1 Cardiovascular System 25 3 Hypotension 10 1 Hypertension 6 1 In these single-arm RITUXAN studies, bronchiolitis obliterans occurred during and up to 6 months after RITUXAN infusion. Previously Untreated, Low-Grade or Follicular, NHL In Study 4, patients in the R-CVP arm experienced a higher incidence of infusional toxicity and neutropenia compared to patients in the CVP arm. The following adverse reactions occurred more frequently ( ≥ 5%) in patients receiving R-CVP compared to CVP alone: rash (17% vs. 5%), cough (15% vs. 6%), flushing (14% vs. 3%), rigors (10% vs. 2%), pruritus (10% vs. 1%), neutropenia (8% vs. 3%), and chest tightness (7% vs. 1%). [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. In Study 5, detailed safety data collection was limited to serious adverse reactions, Grade ≥ 2 infections, and Grade ≥ 3 adverse reactions. In patients receiving RITUXAN as single-agent maintenance therapy following RITUXAN plus chemotherapy, infections were reported more frequently compared to the observation arm (37% vs. 22%). Grade 3-4 adverse reactions occurring at a higher incidence (≥ 2%) in the RITUXAN group were infections (4% vs. 1%) and neutropenia (4% vs. <1%). In Study 6, the following adverse reactions were reported more frequently ( ≥ 5%) in patients receiving RITUXAN following CVP compared to patients who received no further therapy: fatigue (39% vs. 14%), anemia (35% vs. 20%), peripheral sensory neuropathy (30% vs. 18%), infections (19% vs. 9%), pulmonary toxicity (18% vs. 10%), hepato-biliary toxicity (17% vs. 7%), rash and/or pruritus (17% vs. 5%), arthralgia (12% vs. 3%), and weight gain (11% vs. 4%). Neutropenia was the only Grade 3 or 4 adverse reaction that occurred more frequently ( ≥ 2%) in the RITUXAN arm compared with those who received no further therapy (4% vs. 1%). [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. DLBCL In Studies 7 and 8, [see Clinical Studies (14.3)], the following adverse reactions, regardless of severity, were reported more frequently ( ≥ 5%) in patients age ≥ 60 years receiving R-CHOP as compared to CHOP alone: pyrexia (56% vs. 46%), lung disorder (31% vs. 24%), cardiac disorder (29% vs. 21%), and chills (13% vs. 4%). Detailed safety data collection in these studies was primarily limited to Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions and serious adverse reactions. In Study 8, a review of cardiac toxicity determined that supraventricular arrhythmias or tachycardia accounted for most of the difference in cardiac disorders (4.5% for R-CHOP vs. 1.0% for CHOP). The following Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions occurred more frequently among patients in the R-CHOP arm compared with those in the CHOP arm: thrombocytopenia (9% vs. 7%) and lung disorder (6% vs. 3%). Other Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions occurring more frequently among patients receiving R-CHOP were viral infection (Study 8), neutropenia (Studies 8 and 9), and anemia (Study 9). CLL The data below reflect exposure to RITUXAN in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in 676 patients with CLL in Study 11 or Study 12 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]. The age range was 30–83 years and 71% were men. Detailed safety data collection in Study 11 was limited to Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions and serious adverse reactions. Infusion-related adverse reactions were defined by any of the following adverse events occurring during or within 24 hours of the start of infusion: nausea, pyrexia, chills, hypotension, vomiting, and dyspnea. In Study 11, the following Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions occurred more frequently in R-FC-treated patients compared to FC-treated patients: infusion reactions (9% in R-FC arm), neutropenia (30% vs. 19%), febrile neutropenia (9% vs. 6%), leukopenia (23% vs. 12%), and pancytopenia (3% vs. 1%). In Study 12, the following Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions occurred more frequently in R-FC-treated patients compared to FC-treated patients: infusion reactions (7% in R-FC arm), neutropenia (49% vs. 44%), febrile neutropenia (15% vs. 12%), thrombocytopenia (11% vs. 9%), hypotension (2% vs. 0%), and hepatitis B (2% vs. < 1%). Fifty-nine percent of R-FC-treated patients experienced an infusion reaction of any severity. 6.2 Clinical Trials Experience in Rheumatoid Arthritis Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The data presented below reflect the experience in 2578 RA patients treated with RITUXAN in controlled and long-term studies with a total exposure of 5014 patient-years. Among all exposed patients, adverse reactions reported in greater than 10% of patients include infusion reactions, upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, urinary tract infection, and bronchitis. In placebo-controlled studies, patients received 2 × 500 mg or 2 × 1000 mg intravenous infusions of RITUXAN or placebo, in combination with methotrexate, during a 24-week period. From these studies, 938 patients treated with RITUXAN (2 × 1000 mg) or placebo have been pooled (see Table 2). Adverse reactions reported in ≥ 5% of patients were hypertension, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, arthralgia, pyrexia and pruritus (see Table 2). The rates and types of adverse reactions in patients who received RITUXAN 2 × 500 mg were similar to those observed in patients who received RITUXAN 2 × 1000 mg. Table 2These data are based on 938 patients treated in Phase 2 and 3 studies of RITUXAN (2 × 1000 mg) or placebo administered in combination with methotrexate. Incidence of All Adverse ReactionsCoded using MedDRA. Occurring in ≥ 2% and at Least 1% Greater than Placebo Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in Clinical Studies Up to Week 24 (Pooled) Adverse Reactions Placebo + MTX N=398 n (%) RITUXAN + MTX N=540 n (%) Hypertension 21 (5) 43 (8) Nausea 19 (5) 41 (8) Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 23 (6) 37 (7) Arthralgia 14 (4) 31 (6) Pyrexia 8 (2) 27 (5) Pruritus 5 (1) 26 (5) Chills 9 (2) 16 (3) Dyspepsia 3 ( < 1) 16 (3) Rhinitis 6 (2) 14 (3) Paresthesia 3 ( < 1) 12 (2) Urticaria 3 ( < 1) 12 (2) Abdominal Pain Upper 4 (1) 11 (2) Throat Irritation 0 (0) 11 (2) Anxiety 5 (1) 9 (2) Migraine 2 ( < 1) 9 (2) Asthenia 1 ( < 1) 9 (2) Infusion Reactions In the RITUXAN RA pooled placebo-controlled studies, 32% of RITUXAN-treated patients experienced an adverse reaction during or within 24 hours following their first infusion, compared to 23% of placebo-treated patients receiving their first infusion. The incidence of adverse reactions during the 24-hour period following the second infusion, RITUXAN or placebo, decreased to 11% and 13%, respectively. Acute infusion reactions (manifested by fever, chills, rigors, pruritus, urticaria/rash, angioedema, sneezing, throat irritation, cough, and/or bronchospasm, with or without associated hypotension or hypertension) were experienced by 27% of RITUXAN-treated patients following their first infusion, compared to 19% of placebo-treated patients receiving their first placebo infusion. The incidence of these acute infusion reactions following the second infusion of RITUXAN or placebo decreased to 9% and 11%, respectively. Serious acute infusion reactions were experienced by < 1% of patients in either treatment group. Acute infusion reactions required dose modification (stopping, slowing, or interruption of the infusion) in 10% and 2% of patients receiving rituximab or placebo, respectively, after the first course. The proportion of patients experiencing acute infusion reactions decreased with subsequent courses of RITUXAN. The administration of intravenous glucocorticoids prior to RITUXAN infusions reduced the incidence and severity of such reactions, however, there was no clear benefit from the administration of oral glucocorticoids for the prevention of acute infusion reactions. Patients in clinical studies also received antihistamines and acetaminophen prior to RITUXAN infusions. Infections In the pooled, placebo-controlled studies, 39% of patients in the RITUXAN group experienced an infection of any type compared to 34% of patients in the placebo group. The most common infections were nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, and sinusitis. The incidence of serious infections was 2% in the RITUXAN-treated patients and 1% in the placebo group. In the experience with RITUXAN in 2578 RA patients, the rate of serious infections was 4.31 per 100 patient years. The most common serious infections ( ≥ 0.5%) were pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infections, cellulitis and urinary tract infections. Fatal serious infections included pneumonia, sepsis and colitis. Rates of serious infection remained stable in patients receiving subsequent courses. In 185 RITUXAN-treated RA patients with active disease, subsequent treatment with a biologic DMARD, the majority of which were TNF antagonists, did not appear to increase the rate of serious infection. Thirteen serious infections were observed in 186.1 patient years (6.99 per 100 patient years) prior to exposure and 10 were observed in 182.3 patient years (5.49 per 100 patient years) after exposure. Cardiovascular Adverse Reactions In the pooled, placebo-controlled studies, the proportion of patients with serious cardiovascular reactions was 1.7% and 1.3% in the RITUXAN and placebo treatment groups, respectively. Three cardiovascular deaths occurred during the double-blind period of the RA studies including all rituximab regimens (3/769 = 0.4%) as compared to none in the placebo treatment group (0/389). In the experience with RITUXAN in 2578 RA patients, the rate of serious cardiac reactions was 1.93 per 100 patient years. The rate of myocardial infarction (MI) was 0.56 per 100 patient years (28 events in 26 patients), which is consistent with MI rates in the general RA population. These rates did not increase over three courses of RITUXAN. Since patients with RA are at increased risk for cardiovascular events compared with the general population, patients with RA should be monitored throughout the infusion and RITUXAN should be discontinued in the event of a serious or life-threatening cardiac event. Hypophosphatemia and hyperuricemia In the pooled, placebo-controlled studies, newly-occurring hypophosphatemia ( < 2.0 mg/dl) was observed in 12% (67/540) of patients on RITUXAN versus 10% (39/398) of patients on placebo. Hypophosphatemia was more common in patients who received corticosteroids. Newly-occurring hyperuricemia (>10 mg/dl) was observed in 1.5% (8/540) of patients on RITUXAN versus 0.3% (1/398) of patients on placebo. In the experience with RITUXAN in RA patients, newly-occurring hypophosphatemia was observed in 21% (528/2570) of patients and newly-occurring hyperuricemia was observed in 2% (56/2570) of patients. The majority of the observed hypophosphatemia occurred at the time of the infusions and was transient. Retreatment in Patients with RA In the experience with RITUXAN in RA patients, 2578 patients have been exposed to RITUXAN and have received up to 10 courses of RITUXAN in RA clinical trials, with 1890, 1043, and 425 patients having received at least two, three, and four courses, respectively. Most of the patients who received additional courses did so 24 weeks or more after the previous course and none were retreated sooner than 16 weeks. The rates and types of adverse reactions reported for subsequent courses of RITUXAN were similar to rates and types seen for a single course of RITUXAN. In RA Study 2, where all patients initially received RITUXAN, the safety profile of patients who were retreated with RITUXAN was similar to those who were retreated with placebo [see Clinical Studies (14.6), and Dosage and Administration (2.5)]. 6.3 Clinical Trials Experience in Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The data presented below reflect the experience in 197 patients with GPA and MPA treated with RITUXAN or cyclophosphamide in a single controlled study, which was conducted in two phases: a 6 month randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled remission induction phase and an additional 12 month remission maintenance phase. In the 6-month remission induction phase, 197 patients with GPA and MPA were randomized to either RITUXAN 375 mg/ m2 once weekly for 4 weeks plus glucocorticoids, or oral cyclophosphamide 2 mg/kg daily (adjusted for renal function, white blood cell count, and other factors) plus glucocorticoids to induce remission. Once remission was achieved or at the end of the 6 month remission induction period, the cyclophosphamide group received azathioprine to maintain remission. The RITUXAN group did not receive additional therapy to maintain remission. The primary analysis was at the end of the 6 month remission induction period and the safety results for this period are described below. Adverse reactions presented below in Table 3 were adverse events which occurred at a rate of greater than or equal to 10% in the RITUXAN group. This table reflects experience in 99 GPA and MPA patients treated with RITUXAN, with a total of 47.6 patient-years of observation and 98 GPA and MPA patients treated with cyclophosphamide, with a total of 47.0 patient-years of observation. Infection was the most common category of adverse events reported (47-62%) and is discussed below. Table 3 Incidence of All Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 10% of RITUXAN-treated GPA and MPA Patients in the Clinical Study Up to Month 6The study design allowed for crossover or treatment by best medical judgment, and 13 patients in each treatment group received a second therapy during the 6 month study period. Adverse Reaction RITUXAN N=99 n (%) Cyclophosphamide N=98 n (%) Nausea 18 (18%) 20 (20%) Diarrhea 17 (17%) 12 (12%) Headache 17 (17%) 19 (19%) Muscle spasms 17 (17%) 15 (15%) Anemia 16 (16%) 20 (20%) Peripheral edema 16 (16%) 6 (6%) Insomnia 14 (14%) 12 (12%) Arthralgia 13 (13%) 9 (9%) Cough 13 (13%) 11 (11%) Fatigue 13 (13%) 21 (21%) Increased ALT 13 (13%) 15 (15%) Hypertension 12 (12%) 5 (5%) Epistaxis 11 (11%) 6 (6%) Dyspnea 10 (10%) 11 (11%) Leukopenia 10 (10%) 26 (27%) Rash 10 (10%) 17 (17%) Infusion Reactions Infusion reactions in the active-controlled, double-blind study were defined as any adverse event occurring within 24 hours of an infusion and considered to be infusion-related by investigators. Among the 99 patients treated with RITUXAN, 12% experienced at least one infusion reaction, compared with 11% of the 98 patients in the cyclophosphamide group. Infusion reactions included cytokine release syndrome, flushing, throat irritation, and tremor. In the RITUXAN group, the proportion of patients experiencing an infusion reaction was 12%, 5%, 4%, and 1% following the first, second, third, and fourth infusions, respectively. Patients were pre-medicated with antihistamine and acetaminophen before each RITUXAN infusion and were on background oral corticosteroids which may have mitigated or masked an infusion reaction; however, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether premedication diminishes the frequency or severity of infusion reactions. Infections In the active-controlled, double-blind study, 62% (61/99) of patients in the RITUXAN group experienced an infection of any type compared to 47% (46/98) patients in the cyclophosphamide group by Month 6. The most common infections in the RITUXAN group were upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and herpes zoster. The incidence of serious infections was 11% in the RITUXAN-treated patients and 10% in the cyclophosphamide treated patients, with rates of approximately 25 and 28 per 100 patient-years, respectively. The most common serious infection was pneumonia. Hypogammaglobulinemia Hypogammaglobulinemia (IgA, IgG or IgM below the lower limit of normal) has been observed in patients with GPA and MPA treated with RITUXAN. At 6 months, in the RITUXAN group, 27%, 58% and 51% of patients with normal immunoglobulin levels at baseline, had low IgA, IgG and IgM levels, respectively compared to 25%, 50% and 46% in the cyclophosphamide group. Retreatment in Patients with GPA and MPA In the active-controlled, double-blind study, subsequent courses of RITUXAN were allowed for patients experiencing a relapse of disease. The limited data preclude any conclusions regarding the safety of subsequent courses of RITUXAN with GPA and MPA [see Dosage and Administration (2.6), and Warnings and Precautions (5.14)]. 6.4 Clinical Trials Experience in Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. A non-U.S.-approved rituximab product in combination with short-term prednisone was compared to that of prednisone monotherapy in a randomized, controlled, multicenter open-label study of 90 patients (74 Pemphigus Vulgaris [PV] patients and 16 Pemphigus Foliaceus [PF] patients) [see Clinical Studies (14.8)]. Safety results for the PV patient population during the 24-month treatment period are described below. The safety profile of the non-U.S.-approved rituximab product in patients with PV was consistent with that observed in patients with RITUXAN-treated RA and GPA and MPA [see Adverse Reactions (6.2 and 6.3)]. Adverse reactions presented below in Table 4 were adverse events which occurred at a rate ≥5% among PV patients treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product and with at least 2% absolute difference in incidence between the group treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product and the prednisone monotherapy group up to Month 24. No patients in the group treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product withdrew due to adverse reactions. The clinical study did not include sufficient number of patients to allow for direct comparison of adverse reaction rates between treatment groups. Table 4 Incidence of All Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 5% Among PV Patients treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product and with at Least 2% Absolute Difference in Incidence Between the Group treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product with Short-term Prednisone and the Group Treated with Prednisone Monotherapy in the Clinical Study Up to Month 24 Adverse Reactions A non-U.S.-approved rituximab product + short-term prednisone N=38 n (%) Prednisone N=36 n (%) N/A = not applicable Infusion reactionsInfusion reactions included symptoms collected on the next scheduled visit after each infusion, and adverse reactions occurring on the day of or one day after the infusion. The most common infusion reactions included headaches, chills, high blood pressure, nausea, asthenia, and pain. 22 (58%) N/A Depression 7 (18%) 4 (11%) Herpes simplex 5 (13%) 1 (3%) Alopecia 5 (13%) 0 (0%) Fatigue 3 (8%) 2 (6%) Abdominal pain upper 2 (5%) 1 (3%) Conjunctivitis 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Dizziness 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Headache 2 (5%) 1 (3%) Herpes zoster 2 (5%) 1 (3%) Irritability 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Musculoskeletal pain 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Pruritus 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Pyrexia 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Skin disorder 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Skin papilloma 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Tachycardia 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Urticaria 2 (5%) 0 (0%) Infusion Reactions Infusion reactions were the most commonly reported adverse drug reactions (58%, 22 patients). All infusion reactions were mild to moderate (Grade 1 or 2) except one Grade 3 serious infusion reaction (arthralgia) associated with the Month 12 maintenance infusion. The proportion of patients experiencing an infusion reaction was 29% (11 patients), 40% (15 patients), 13% (5 patients), and 10% (4 patients) following the first, second, third, and fourth infusions, respectively. No patients were withdrawn from treatment due to infusion reactions. Symptoms of infusion reactions were similar in type and severity to those seen in RA and GPA and MPA patients [see Adverse Reactions (6.2 and 6.3)]. Infections Fourteen patients (37%) in the group treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product experienced treatment-related infections compared to 15 patients (42%) in the prednisone group. The most common infections in the group treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product were herpes simplex, herpes zoster, bronchitis, urinary tract infection, fungal infection, and conjunctivitis. Three patients (8%) in the group treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product experienced a total of 5 serious infections (Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, infective thrombosis, intervertebral discitis, lung infection, Staphylococcal sepsis) and 1 patient (3%) in the prednisone group experienced 1 serious infection (Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia). 6.5 Immunogenicity As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity. The detection of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to RITUXAN in the studies described below with the incidence of antibodies in other studies or to other products may be misleading. Using an ELISA assay, anti-rituximab antibody was detected in 4 of 356 (1.1%) patients with low-grade or follicular NHL receiving single-agent RITUXAN. Three of the four patients had an objective clinical response. A total of 273/2578 (11%) patients with RA tested positive for anti-rituximab antibodies at any time after receiving RITUXAN. Anti-rituximab antibody positivity was not associated with increased rates of infusion reactions or other adverse events. Upon further treatment, the proportions of patients with infusion reactions were similar between anti-rituximab antibody positive and negative patients, and most reactions were mild to moderate. Four anti-rituximab antibody positive patients had serious infusion reactions, and the temporal relationship between anti-rituximab antibody positivity and infusion reaction was variable. A total of 23/99 (23%) RITUXAN-treated patients with GPA and MPA tested positive for anti-rituximab antibodies by 18 months. The clinical relevance of anti-rituximab antibody formation in RITUXAN-treated patients is unclear. Using a new ELISA assay, a total of 19/34 (56%) patients with PV, who were treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product, tested positive for anti-rituximab antibodies by 18 months. The clinical relevance of anti-rituximab antibody formation in RITUXAN-treated PV patients is unclear. 6.6 Postmarketing Experience The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of RITUXAN. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Hematologic: prolonged pancytopenia, marrow hypoplasia, Grade 3-4 prolonged or late-onset neutropenia, hyperviscosity syndrome in Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, prolonged hypogammaglobulinemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]. Cardiac: fatal cardiac failure. Immune/Autoimmune Events: uveitis, op

Usage information

Dosing and administration
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Administer only as an intravenous infusion. Do not administer as an intravenous push or bolus. RITUXAN should only be administered by a healthcare professional with appropriate medical support to manage severe infusion reactions that can be fatal if they occur. The dose for NHL is 375 mg/m2 (2.2). The dose for CLL is 375 mg/m2 in the first cycle and 500 mg/m2 in cycles 2–6, in combination with FC, administered every 28 days (2.3). The dose as a component of Zevalin® (Ibritumomab tiuxetan) Therapeutic Regimen is 250 mg/m2 (2.4). The dose for RA in combination with methotrexate is two-1000 mg intravenous infusions separated by 2 weeks (one course) every 24 weeks or based on clinical evaluation, but not sooner than every 16 weeks. Methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenous or equivalent glucocorticoid is recommended 30 minutes prior to each infusion (2.5). The dose for GPA and MPA in combination with glucocorticoids is 375 mg/m2 once weekly for 4 weeks (2.6). The dose for PV is two-1000 mg intravenous infusions separated by 2 weeks in combination with a tapering course of glucocorticoids, then a 500 mg intravenous infusion at Month 12 and every 6 months thereafter or based on clinical evaluation. Dose upon relapse is a 1000 mg intravenous infusion with considerations to resume or increase the glucocorticoid dose based on clinical evaluation. Subsequent infusions may be no sooner than 16 weeks after the previous infusion. Methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenous or equivalent glucocorticoid is recommended 30 minutes prior to each infusion (2.7). 2.1 Important Dosing Information Administer only as an Intravenous Infusion [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)]. Do not administer as an intravenous push or bolus. RITUXAN should only be administered by a healthcare professional with appropriate medical support to manage severe infusion reactions that can be fatal if they occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Premedicate before each infusion [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)]. Prior to First Infusion: Screen all patients for HBV infection by measuring HBsAg and anti-HBc before initiating treatment with RITUXAN [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. Obtain complete blood counts including platelets (CBC) prior to the first dose. During RITUXAN Therapy: In patients with lymphoid malignancies, during treatment with RITUXAN monotherapy, obtain complete blood counts (CBC) with differential and platelet counts prior to each RITUXAN course. During treatment with RITUXAN and chemotherapy, obtain CBC with differential and platelet counts at weekly to monthly intervals and more frequently in patients who develop cytopenias [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. In patients with RA, GPA or MPA, obtain CBC with differential and platelet counts at two to four month intervals during RITUXAN therapy. Continue to monitor for cytopenias after final dose and until resolution. First Infusion: Initiate infusion at a rate of 50 mg/hr. In the absence of infusion toxicity, increase infusion rate by 50 mg/hr increments every 30 minutes, to a maximum of 400 mg/hr. Subsequent Infusions: Standard Infusion: Initiate infusion at a rate of 100 mg/hr. In the absence of infusion toxicity, increase rate by 100 mg/hr increments at 30-minute intervals, to a maximum of 400 mg/hr. For previously untreated follicular NHL and DLBCL patients: If patients did not experience a Grade 3 or 4 infusion related adverse event during Cycle 1, a 90-minute infusion can be administered in Cycle 2 with a glucocorticoid-containing chemotherapy regimen. Initiate at a rate of 20% of the total dose given in the first 30 minutes and the remaining 80% of the total dose given over the next 60 minutes. If the 90-minute infusion is tolerated in Cycle 2, the same rate can be used when administering the remainder of the treatment regimen (through Cycle 6 or 8). Patients who have clinically significant cardiovascular disease or who have a circulating lymphocyte count ≥5000/mm3 before Cycle 2 should not be administered the 90-minute infusion [see Clinical Studies (14.4)]. Interrupt the infusion or slow the infusion rate for infusion reactions [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Continue the infusion at one-half the previous rate upon improvement of symptoms. 2.2 Recommended Dose for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) The recommended dose is 375 mg/m2 as an intravenous infusion according to the following schedules: Relapsed or Refractory, Low-Grade or Follicular, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL Administer once weekly for 4 or 8 doses. Retreatment for Relapsed or Refractory, Low-Grade or Follicular, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL Administer once weekly for 4 doses. Previously Untreated, Follicular, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL Administer on Day 1 of each cycle of chemotherapy, for up to 8 doses. In patients with complete or partial response, initiate RITUXAN maintenance eight weeks following completion of RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy. Administer RITUXAN as a single-agent every 8 weeks for 12 doses. Non-progressing, Low-Grade, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL, after first-line CVP chemotherapy Following completion of 6–8 cycles of CVP chemotherapy, administer once weekly for 4 doses at 6-month intervals to a maximum of 16 doses. Diffuse Large B-Cell NHL Administer on Day 1 of each cycle of chemotherapy for up to 8 infusions. 2.3 Recommended Dose for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) The recommended dose is: 375 mg/m2 the day prior to the initiation of FC chemotherapy, then 500 mg/m2 on Day 1 of cycles 2–6 (every 28 days). 2.4 Recommended Dose as a Component of Zevalin® for treatment of NHL Infuse rituximab 250 mg/m2 within 4 hours prior to the administration of Indium-111-(In-111-) Zevalin and within 4 hours prior to the administration of Yttrium-90- (Y-90-) Zevalin. Administer RITUXAN and In-111-Zevalin 7–9 days prior to RITUXAN and Y-90- Zevalin. Refer to the Zevalin package insert for full prescribing information regarding the Zevalin therapeutic regimen. 2.5 Recommended Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Administer RITUXAN as two-1000 mg intravenous infusions separated by 2 weeks. Glucocorticoids administered as methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenous or its equivalent 30 minutes prior to each infusion are recommended to reduce the incidence and severity of infusion reactions. Subsequent courses should be administered every 24 weeks or based on clinical evaluation, but not sooner than every 16 weeks. RITUXAN is given in combination with methotrexate. 2.6 Recommended Dose for Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) Administer RITUXAN as a 375 mg/m2 intravenous infusion once weekly for 4 weeks. Glucocorticoids administered as methylprednisolone 1000 mg intravenously per day for 1 to 3 days followed by oral prednisone 1 mg/kg/day (not to exceed 80 mg/day and tapered per clinical need) are recommended to treat severe vasculitis symptoms. This regimen should begin within 14 days prior to or with the initiation of RITUXAN and may continue during and after the 4 week course of Rituximab treatment. Safety and efficacy of treatment with subsequent courses of RITUXAN have not been established [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)]. 2.7 Recommended Dose for Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) Administer RITUXAN as two-1000 mg intravenous infusions separated by 2 weeks in combination with a tapering course of glucocorticoids. Maintenance treatment Administer RITUXAN as a 500 mg intravenous infusion at Month 12 and every 6 months thereafter or based on clinical evaluation. Treatment of relapse Administer RITUXAN as a 1000 mg intravenous infusion on relapse, and consider resuming or increasing the glucocorticoid dose based on clinical evaluation. 2.8 Recommended Dose for Premedication and Prophylactic Medications Premedicate with acetaminophen and an antihistamine before each infusion of RITUXAN. For patients administered RITUXAN according to the 90-minute infusion rate, the glucocorticoid component of their chemotherapy regimen should be administered prior to infusion [see Clinical Studies (14.4)]. For RA and PV patients, methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenously or its equivalent is recommended 30 minutes prior to each infusion. For GPA and MPA patients, glucocorticoids are given in combination with RITUXAN [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]. Provide prophylaxis treatment for Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) and herpes virus infections for patients with CLL during treatment and for up to 12 months following treatment as appropriate [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]. PCP prophylaxis is also recommended for patients with GPA and MPA during treatment and for at least 6 months following the last RITUXAN infusion. PCP prophylaxis should be considered for patients with PV during and following RITUXAN treatment. 2.9 Administration and Storage Use appropriate aseptic technique. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration. RITUXAN should be a clear, colorless liquid. Do not use vial if particulates or discoloration is present. Administration Withdraw the necessary amount of RITUXAN and dilute to a final concentration of 1 mg/mL to 4 mg/mL in an infusion bag containing either 0.9% Sodium Chloride, USP, or 5% Dextrose in Water, USP. Gently invert the bag to mix the solution. Do not mix or dilute with other drugs. Discard any unused portion left in the vial. Storage RITUXAN solutions for infusion may be stored at 2°C–8°C (36°F–46°F) for 24 hours. RITUXAN solutions for infusion have been shown to be stable for an additional 24 hours at room temperature. However, since RITUXAN solutions do not contain a preservative, diluted solutions should be stored refrigerated (2°C–8°C). No incompatibilities between RITUXAN and polyvinylchloride or polyethylene bags have been observed.
Use in special populations
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS Lactation: Advise not to breastfeed (8.2). Geriatric Use: In CLL patients older than 70 years of age, exploratory analyses suggest no benefit with the addition of RITUXAN to FC (8.5). 8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary Based on human data, RITUXAN can cause adverse developmental outcomes including B-cell lymphocytopenia in infants exposed to RITUXAN in-utero (see Clinical Considerations ). In animal reproduction studies, intravenous administration of rituximab to pregnant cynomolgus monkeys during the period of organogenesis caused lymphoid B-cell depletion in the newborn offspring at doses resulting in 80% of the exposure (based on AUC) of those achieved following a dose of 2 grams in humans. Advise pregnant women of the risk to a fetus. Adverse outcomes in pregnancy occur regardless of the health of the mother or the use of medications. The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations is unknown. The estimated background risk in the U.S. general population of major birth defects is 2%-4% and of miscarriage is 15%-20% of clinically recognized pregnancies. Clinical Considerations Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions Observe newborns and infants for signs of infection and manage accordingly. Data Human data Postmarketing data indicate that B-cell lymphocytopenia generally lasting less than six months can occur in infants exposed to rituximab in-utero. Rituximab was detected postnatally in the serum of infants exposed in-utero. Animal Data An embryo-fetal developmental toxicity study was performed on pregnant cynomolgus monkeys. Pregnant animals received rituximab via the intravenous route during early gestation (organogenesis period; post-coitum days 20 through 50). Rituximab was administered as loading doses on postcoitum (PC) Days 20, 21 and 22, at 15, 37.5 or 75 mg/kg/day, and then weekly on PC Days 29, 36, 43 and 50, at 20, 50 or 100 mg/kg/week. The 100 mg/kg/week dose resulted in 80% of the exposure (based on AUC) of those achieved following a dose of 2 grams in humans. Rituximab crosses the monkey placenta. Exposed offspring did not exhibit any teratogenic effects but did have decreased lymphoid tissue B cells. A subsequent pre-and postnatal reproductive toxicity study in cynomolgus monkeys was completed to assess developmental effects including the recovery of B cells and immune function in infants exposed to rituximab in utero. Animals were treated with a loading dose of 0, 15, or 75 mg/kg every day for 3 days, followed by weekly dosing with 0, 20, or 100 mg/kg dose. Subsets of pregnant females were treated from PC Day 20 through postpartum Day 78, PC Day 76 through PC Day 134, and from PC Day 132 through delivery and postpartum Day 28. Regardless of the timing of treatment, decreased B cells and immunosuppression were noted in the offspring of rituximab-treated pregnant animals. The B-cell counts returned to normal levels, and immunologic function was restored within 6 months postpartum. 8.2 Lactation There are no data on the presence of rituximab in human milk, the effect on the breastfed child, or the effect on milk production. However, rituximab is detected in the milk of lactating cynomolgus monkeys, and IgG is present in human milk. Since many drugs including antibodies are present in human milk, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose of RITUXAN due to the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants. 8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential Rituximab can cause fetal harm [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]. Contraception Females Females of childbearing potential should use effective contraception while receiving RITUXAN and for 12 months following treatment. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and effectiveness of RITUXAN in pediatric patients have not been established. FDA has not required pediatric studies in polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) patients ages 0 to 16 due to concerns regarding the potential for prolonged immunosuppression as a result of B-cell depletion in the developing juvenile immune system. Hypogammaglobulinemia has been observed in pediatric patients treated with RITUXAN. 8.5 Geriatric Use Diffuse Large B-Cell NHL Among patients with DLBCL evaluated in three randomized, active-controlled trials, 927 patients received RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy. Of these, 396 (43%) were age 65 or greater and 123 (13%) were age 75 or greater. No overall differences in effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients. Cardiac adverse reactions, mostly supraventricular arrhythmias, occurred more frequently among elderly patients. Serious pulmonary adverse reactions were also more common among the elderly, including pneumonia and pneumonitis. Low-Grade or Follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Patients with previously untreated follicular NHL evaluated in Study 5 were randomized to RITUXAN as single-agent maintenance therapy (n=505) or observation (n=513) after achieving a response to RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy. Of these, 123 (24%) patients in the RITUXAN arm were age 65 or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients. Other clinical studies of RITUXAN in low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Among patients with CLL evaluated in two randomized active-controlled trials, 243 of 676 RITUXAN-treated patients (36%) were 65 years of age or older; of these, 100 RITUXAN-treated patients (15%) were 70 years of age or older. In exploratory analyses defined by age, there was no observed benefit from the addition of RITUXAN to fludarabine and cyclophosphamide among patients 70 years of age or older in Study 11 or in Study 12; there was also no observed benefit from the addition of RITUXAN to fludarabine and cyclophosphamide among patients 65 years of age or older in Study 12 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]. Patients 70 years or older received lower dose intensity of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide compared to younger patients, regardless of the addition of RITUXAN. In Study 11, the dose intensity of RITUXAN was similar in older and younger patients, however in Study 12 older patients received a lower dose intensity of RITUXAN. The incidence of Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions was higher among patients receiving R-FC who were 70 years or older compared to younger patients for neutropenia [44% vs. 31% (Study 11); 56% vs. 39% (Study 12)], febrile neutropenia [16% vs. 6% (Study 10)], anemia [5% vs. 2% (Study 11); 21% vs. 10% (Study 12)], thrombocytopenia [19% vs. 8% (Study 12)], pancytopenia [7% vs. 2% (Study 11); 7% vs. 2% (Study 12)] and infections [30% vs. 14% (Study 12)]. Rheumatoid Arthritis Among the 2578 patients in global RA studies completed to date, 12% were 65–75 years old and 2% were 75 years old and older. The incidences of adverse reactions were similar between older and younger patients. The rates of serious adverse reactions, including serious infections, malignancies, and cardiovascular events were higher in older patients. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener's Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis Of the 99 RITUXAN-treated GPA and MPA patients, 36 (36%) were 65 years old and over, while 8 (8%) were 75 years and over. No overall differences in efficacy were observed between patients that were 65 years old and over and younger patients. The overall incidence and rate of all serious adverse events was higher in patients 65 years old and over. The clinical study did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Pemphigus Vulgaris Of the 46 patients treated with a non-U.S.-approved rituximab product, 15 (33%) patients were 65 years of age and older. The clinical study did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.

Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS Formal drug interaction studies have not been performed with RITUXAN. In patients with CLL, RITUXAN did not alter systemic exposure to fludarabine or cyclophosphamide. In clinical trials of patients with RA, concomitant administration of methotrexate or cyclophosphamide did not alter the pharmacokinetics of rituximab. Renal toxicity when used in combination with cisplatin (5.8).

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number BLA103705
Agency product number 4F4X42SYQ6
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 50242-051,50242-053
Date Last Revised 13-06-2018
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
RXCUI 1657862
Storage and handling RITUXAN vials [100 mg/10 mL single-use vials (NDC 50242-051-21) and 500 mg/50 mL single-use vials (NDC 50242-053-06)] are stable at 2°C–8°C (36°F–46°F). RITUXAN vials should be protected from direct sunlight. Do not freeze or shake.
Marketing authorisation holder Genentech, Inc.
Warnings WARNING: FATAL INFUSION REACTIONS, SEVERE MUCOCUTANEOUS REACTIONS, HEPATITIS B VIRUS REACTIVATION and PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY WARNING: FATAL INFUSION REACTIONS, SEVERE MUCOCUTANEOUS REACTIONS, HEPATITIS B VIRUS REACTIVATION and PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning. Fatal infusion reactions within 24 hours of RITUXAN infusion; approximately 80% of fatal reactions occurred with first infusion. Monitor patients and discontinue RITUXAN infusion for severe reactions (5.1). Severe mucocutaneous reactions, some with fatal outcomes (5.2). Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death (5.3). Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) resulting in death (5.4). Infusion Reactions RITUXAN administration can result in serious, including fatal, infusion reactions. Deaths within 24 hours of RITUXAN infusion have occurred. Approximately 80% of fatal infusion reactions occurred in association with the first infusion. Monitor patients closely. Discontinue RITUXAN infusion for severe reactions and provide medical treatment for Grade 3 or 4 infusion reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Adverse Reactions (6.1) ]. Severe Mucocutaneous Reactions Severe, including fatal, mucocutaneous reactions can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reactivation HBV reactivation can occur in patients treated with RITUXAN, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death. Screen all patients for HBV infection before treatment initiation, and monitor patients during and after treatment with RITUXAN. Discontinue RITUXAN and concomitant medications in the event of HBV reactivation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), including fatal PML, can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].