Rituximab (MS)

Hello everyone! Started my new medication.. my neurologist wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible off of Tysabri.. so that no wash out period was necessary, very happy about that because i’m not sure how I would feel being off of medication for several months. Buuut this is how it all went down :) 

MONDAY, JULY 30- First dose of Rituxan

  • Got to the infusion center at 9:40am for my 10:00am appointment. 
  • Infusion nurse calls pharmacy to deliver medication which takes about 2 hours.  
  • 12:30pm  I began the pre-meds (Benedryl, Tylenol & Solumedrol) 
  • Ate some lunch.
  • By 1pm began infusing Rituxan.
  • Took about 5 in a half hours. 
  • Finished infusion at 5:30pm but stayed extra 30 minutes for observation.
  • Out the door at 6pm.

WOWW! What a day... a lot of sitting around & waiting. This was all so new to me. My previous infusions usually take 1 hr once a month. But this new medication is a 4+ hour infusion about every 6 months. Some factors are out-weighed. Woke up and did my typical routine on infusion days.. drinking lots of water prior, making sure I stay hydrated. Usually I increase my water intake 2 days before infusion, being hydrated helps so much! Although, I took a couple bathroom breaks here & there during it does pause the infusion, but I like the fact of being hydrated on medication to prevent any complications or allergic reactions. Took my pre-meds along with the intravenous Rituxan & planned to just sleep it off.. I was dozing off & was so close to falling asleep but for some strange reason I kept fighting my sleep! Instead I watched some TV/Netflix & just waited for the drip to finish.. all while taking my vitals every hour. Everything was going smoothly! Although, we did notice when close to done that my right eye became red.. pretty sure due to my lack of sleep the night before & just being tired off the medication was all. Was able to withstand the rate of the drip no problem. An hour later, I was finally done! Took my vitals once again & noticed my temperature was strange.. Taking my temperature orally (98.4 F) versus through the ear (99.6 F) read different temperatures but this isn’t the first time that has happened for me.. took some Tylenol before leaving the infusion center & everything was ok! So glad that first dose went well, hoping for the same in 15 days.

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MONDAY, AUGUST 13- Second dose of Rituxan

  • Arrived 30 minutes early for my 10:30 appointment. 
  • Called Pharmacy.
  • 12pm started pre-meds. 
  • 12:30pm began infusion. (Ate lunch) 
  • Out of infusion center by 3:30pm. 

A much shorter infusion this time! I did my usual routine on infusion days by increasing my water intake.. I was a little emotional this morning, no clue why. A little different but everything was fine. Today went a lot faster than I expected.. Usually I try to schedule my appointments when a specific nurse is on duty however she was on vacation & I met the other infusion nurse who assisted me in my second dose infusion. Vitals were good, no allergic reactions.. some things were done differently but all was well! I was a little more prepared and packed a backpack with things I should have brought first infusion like an ipad & blanket. The pharmacy was able to deliver my medication in 50 minutes versus 2 hour wait so that cut down a lot of time, I also didn’t take as much bathroom breaks. Along with speeding up the rate of my infusion, I was able to tolerate it, which was great! Didn’t check vitals every hour this time, slept a little more than the first but overall I am very happy that everything went smoothly. Now, I just pray that my body continues to accept and tolerate Rituxan until my next dose in 6 months. Hoping this is an effective medication for me and my MS along with no serious issues. Trusting the journey of Rituxan & extremely grateful to have this MS medication. 

 *Fingers crossed*

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Xo, Risha