It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are receiving this medicine and for 12 months after stopping it. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine.
This medicine may cause a serious side effect called an infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have fever, chills, trouble with breathing, chest tightness, swelling in your face or hands, lightheadedness, or if you feel like fainting within a few hours after you receive it.
If you have a severe skin reaction with this medicine, you should seek medical attention right away. Symptoms may include blistering or loosening of the skin; red, swollen, irritated, or scaly skin; fever; chills; headache; or diarrhea.
While you are being treated with ibritumomab, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (live vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Ibritumomab may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent.
Ibritumomab can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
- Avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising; black, tarry stools; blood in the urine or stools; or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
If ibritumomab accidentally seeps out of the vein where it is injected, it may damage the tissue and cause scarring. Tell the doctor or nurse right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the place of injection.
While using this medicine, you may be exposed to radiation. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
This medicine contains albumin, which is derived from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted certain viruses to people who have received them. The risk of getting a virus from medicines made from human blood has been greatly reduced in recent years. This is the result of required testing of human donors for certain viruses, and testing during the making of these medicines. Although the risk is low, talk with your doctor if you have concerns.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.