For the treatment of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (1400 mg strength) and Chronic Lymphocytic
Leukaemia (1600 mg strength)
contains the active ingredient rituximab (rch)
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about MabThera SC for subcutaneous (under
the skin) injection. It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you being
given MabThera SC against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about being given this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet.
You may need to read it again.
What MabThera SC is used for
MabThera SC contains the active ingredient rituximab.
MabThera SC belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-cancer agents. There are
many different classes of anti-cancer agents. MabThera SC belongs to a class called
Monoclonal antibodies are proteins which specifically recognise and bind to other
unique proteins in the body.
MabThera SC is used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
MabThera SC in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia was approved building on data from both
the intravenous form of MabThera and MabThera SC in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
MabThera SC works by binding to a protein on the surface of certain white blood cells
known as B lymphocytes. During the process of binding to the protein, the abnormal
growth of the B lymphocytes is stopped.
It is the abnormally growing B lymphocytes that are responsible for certain types
of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
MabThera SC may be used on its own or together with chemotherapy.
If your doctor thinks it is appropriate for your circumstances you may continue to
receive MabThera SC after the initial course of treatment.
Your doctor may have prescribed MabThera SC for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions why MabThera SC has been prescribed for
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you are given MabThera SC
When you must not be given MabThera SC
Do not use MabThera SC:
if you have had an allergic reaction to rituximab or any of the ingredients listed
at the end of this leaflet
if you have had an allergic reaction to any other proteins that are of mouse origin
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include severe skin rash, itching,
hives, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing
or breathing, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles.
If you are not sure if you should start receiving MabThera SC, talk to your doctor.
Before you are given MabThera SC
Your doctor must know about all the following before you are given MabThera SC.
Tell your doctor if:
1. you have an infection, or a history of a recurring or long-term infection such as
2. you are taking or have previously taken medicines which may affect your immune system,
such as chemotherapy or immunosuppressive medicines
If you are taking or have taken medicines which affect your immune system, you may
have an increased risk of infections. There have been reports of a rare, serious brain
infection called PML (progressive multifocal leuko-encephalopathy) usually affecting
people with a weakened immune system. Your chance of getting PML may be higher if
you are treated with MabThera SC and/or other medicines that weaken the immune system.
PML can cause severe disability or even death.
3. you have a history of heart disease with:
cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal beating of the heart)
congestive heart failure
Your doctor will supervise you closely during treatment with MabThera SC.
4. you are taking medicine to control blood pressure
MabThera SC may cause a reduction in blood pressure at the beginning of treatment.
Because MabThera SC may cause a temporary drop in your blood pressure, your doctor
may advise you to temporarily stop taking your blood pressure medicine before you
are given MabThera SC.
5. you have pre-existing lung disease
You may have a greater chance of breathing difficulties during treatment with MabThera
6. you intend to have or have had immunisation with any vaccine (e.g. measles, rubella,
flu, vaccines for travel purposes)
Some vaccines should not be given at the same time as MabThera SC or in the months
after you receive MabThera SC. Your doctor will check if you should have any vaccines
before you receive MabThera SC.
7. you are allergic to any other medicines or any other substances such as foods, preservatives
8. you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
It is not known whether MabThera SC is harmful to an unborn baby. It is not recommended
that you are given MabThera SC while you are pregnant.
If you are a woman of child bearing potential, you must use effective contraceptive
methods to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 12 months after completing treatment
with MabThera SC.
9. you are breast feeding or plan to breast feed.
It is not known if MabThera SC passes into breast milk. It is recommended that you
discontinue breast feeding while you are treated with MabThera SC.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are
given MabThera SC.
Use in children
The safety and effectiveness of MabThera SC have not been established in children.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including any that you have
bought without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or healthfood shop.
As MabThera SC may cause a temporary drop in your blood pressure at the beginning
of treatment, your doctor may advise you to temporarily stop taking your blood pressure
medicine before you are given MabThera SC.
It is not known if MabThera SC will affect your normal response to a vaccine.
It is possible that after treatment with MabThera SC you may experience allergic reactions
if you are treated with other medications containing monoclonal antibodies.
Your doctor and pharmacist will have more information on medicines to be careful with
or to avoid while undergoing treatment with MabThera SC.
How MabThera SC is given
Your treatment with MabThera SC will always begin with an infusion of MabThera intravenous
formulation into a vein. If the infusion is tolerated, then further treatment with
MabThera SC can be given by subcutaneous injection. This means it is injected with
a short needle into the fatty tissue just under the skin.
MabThera SC is given as a fixed dose of 1400 mg per injection over approximately 5
minutes for treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
MabThera SC is given as a fixed dose of 1600 mg per injection over approximately 7
minutes for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia..
Your doctor will decide on the frequency of injections.
MabThera SC may be given with or without chemotherapy. When given in combination with
chemotherapy, the standard treatment with MabThera SC consists of 1 subcutaneous injection
on day 1 of each chemotherapy cycle.
MabThera SC must always be administered by a healthcare professional.
Depending on the circumstances of your disease or response to the drug your doctor
may decide to change your treatment.
If you respond to initial treatment your doctor may decide to continue your treatment
with MabThera SC. for up to 2 years.
As MabThera SC is given to you under the supervision of your doctor, it is very unlikely
that you will receive too much. However, if you experience any side effects after
being given MabThera SC, tell your doctor immediately.
While you are receiving MabThera
Things you must do
If you are a woman of child bearing potential, you must use effective contraceptive
methods to prevent pregnancy during treatment with MabThera SC and for 12 months after
Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while receiving MabThera SC.
Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are receiving
Tell your partner or caregiver you are receiving MabThera SC and ask them to tell
you if they notice any changes in your movement or behaviour. If they notice any changes
you should tell your doctor about them immediately.
Your doctor may need to perform some tests and alter your treatment.
Be sure to keep all your appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be
checked. Your doctor will perform regular blood tests.
Things you must not do
Do not breast feed your infant during treatment with MabThera SC.
It is not known whether MabThera SC crosses into human milk.
Do not take any other medicines whether they require a prescription or not without
first telling your doctor or consulting with a pharmacist.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how MabThera SC affects you.
MabThera SC generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive or operate
machinery. However, as with many other medicines, MabThera SC may cause dizziness
in some people.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you
are receiving MabThera SC.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
MabThera SC helps many people who have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic
leukaemia but it may have unwanted side effects.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time
they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Your doctor may recommend that you take medication to prevent pain or allergy before
you receive your MabThera SC injection.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
The following is a list of the more common side effects.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
side effects at the injection site including pain, swelling, bruising, bleeding, skin
redness, itching and rash
wheezing or coughing
dizziness or lightheadedness, especially on standing up
nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
fatigue (feeling tired) and/or feeling weak
rhinitis (a runny nose)
fast heart beat
chest pain which may spread to the neck and shoulders
pain where the cancer is located
muscle and joint pain
stomach pain or discomfort
sore mouth or mouth ulcers
bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
shingles (herpes zoster infection)
increased blood pressure
loss of appetite
nervousness, feeling anxious or agitated
inability to sleep
pins and needles, or decreased feeling in the skin
stuffy nose or chest
sweating or night sweats
watery, itchy or crusty eyes
changes to sense of taste
ear pain and/or buzzing, hissing, whistling, ringing or other persistent noise in
a general feeling of being unwell
unusual hair loss or thinning
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital
if you notice any of the following:
severe skin rash, itching, hives
swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing
or breathing, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles
one or a combination of the following: severe shortness of breath, severe difficulty
breathing, severe wheezing, severe coughing
vision loss associated with headaches, confusion and seizures
one or a combination of the following: confusion, disorientation or memory loss, changes
in the way you move, walk or talk, decreased strength or progressive weakness in your
body, blurred or loss of vision.
yellowing of skin and eyes, light coloured bowel motions, dark coloured urine
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side
effects are rare.
In combination with chemotherapy
If you have been given MabThera SC in combination with chemotherapy, as well as the
side effects listed above, the following additional side effect may also occur:
bronchitis (inflammation in the lungs)
If you are 65 years of age or over and have been given MabThera SC in combination
with chemotherapy, the following side effects may occur more commonly:
frequent infections with symptoms such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth
These events may be related to MabThera SC, but you may get other side effects from
Please consult your doctor for possible side effects that may be caused by your chemotherapy.
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Your doctor or pharmacist
has a more complete list. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side
effects not yet known.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
After receiving MabThera SC
MabThera SC should be stored in the pharmacy or on the hospital ward.
MabThera SC should be kept in a refrigerator at 2 to 8°C. It should not be frozen.
MabThera SC should be stored away from light.
MabThera SC is available as a solution for subcutaneous injection in in 1400 mg/11.7mL
and 1600 mg/13.4mL as single dose vials. It is supplied as one vial per carton.
MabThera is also available as a concentrate for intravenous infusion in 100 mg/10
mL and 500 mg/50 mL single dose vials.
What MabThera SC looks like
MabThera SC is available as a clear to opalescent, colourless to yellowish solution.
MabThera SC contains the active ingredient rituximab (rch). Each vial of MabThera
SC also contains the following inactive ingredients:
water for injection
MabThera SC is distributed by:
Roche Products Pty Limited
ABN 70 000 132 685
Level 8, 30 – 34 Hickson Road
Sydney NSW 2000
Medical enquiries: 1800 233 950
Please check with your pharmacist for the latest Consumer Medicine Information.
Australian Registration Number:
AUST R 207334 (1400mg)
AUST R 235147 (1600mg)
This leaflet was prepared
16 December 2021.