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I had my Rituximab infusion on 10/14 and 10/15. The nurse administered premedication of Benadryl and Tylenol prior to the infusion start. About 20 minutes into the Rituximab infusion which was started at a very slow rate, I began having shortness of breath and upper chest pressure. I was also very flushed my nurse told me. I was given O2 via nasal cannula and an IV cortisone of some sort. They restarted the medication again after about 15 minutes and the same thing happened although not to the same extent. At that point, they decided to give me some IV Demerol to assist with my infusion. I was only given a third of the medication on the first day. I returned the next day for the rest of the Rituximab and there were no side effects at all. The nurse who took care of me both days also gets Rituximab infusions so that was very helpful to have his perspective. My next infusion is on October 21st.

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Replies to "I had my Rituximab infusion on 10/14 and 10/15. The nurse administered premedication of Benadryl and..."

Well, you got one infusion out of the way, in a roundabout fashion! 😉 It’s pretty common to have a reaction with the first Rituximab treatment. My transplant doctor told me to it was likely so I wasn’t too surprised when it happened. But really didn’t know ‘what’ the reaction would feel like. About the same timeframe as yours, 20 minutes, I got a feeling like a piece of potato chip got lodged under my tongue in the back. However, I wasn’t eating. LOL Then the feeling moved to the throat and started on the other side. Ope…that was the aha moment! So I alerted the nurse, who already had 50 mls of Benadryl ready to inject into the line and prednisone if needed. But the Benadryl worked. I’d had Benadryl and Tylenol before the treatment too with the slow drip time. Anyway, it worked as we slowed it down even further. The subsequent infusions went off without a hitch. I expect yours will too. That was the only side effect I had.

I’m sure you’re relieved to have that first on out of the way so you know what to expect in the future, sans the reaction! We’ll hope that it’s a one-off.
It’s great your nurse has the same infusions. Makes you feel a little more comfortable, doesn’t it? ☺️