Some patients feel mild side effects during or up to 24 hours after receiving rituximab. These usually occur with the first infusion, and can include mild throat tightening, flu-like symptoms, rash, itchiness, dizziness, back pain, nausea, upset stomach, sweating, nervousness, muscle stiffness, and numbness. These symptoms can be reduced by receiving a steroid injection before the infusion, along with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl). The infusion is sometimes stopped for a short while and then restarted at a slower rate if the symptoms get better. Rarely, patients will have more serious symptoms, such as wheezing, mouth or throat swelling, trouble breathing, or chest pain. Patients who experience these symptoms should tell their health care providers immediately; patients may receive stronger medications to treat those symptoms.
A total of 28 patients with GCA and 28 matched controls were included in the study. Of the 28 patients with GCA, 18 were TAB+. Whole-body PET/CT scans were taken in all 28 patients with GCA after a mean days' treatment with high-dose prednisone and were compared with images from the 28 controls. The mean total PET/CT vascular uptake score was significantly higher in participants with GCA vs controls ( ± vs ± ; P =.001). Mean FDG uptake in 6 of the 8 vascular territories was significantly higher in patients with GCA vs controls. PET/CT scores in patients with GCA who were TAB+ and TAB– were similar.
The use of certain parenteral formulations of dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone and triamcinolone is considered by the drug manufacturers to be contraindicated in neonates, particularly premature infants and infants of low birth weight. Some formulations of these drugs contain benzyl alcohol which, when used in bacteriostatic saline intravascular flush and endotracheal tube lavage solutions, has been associated with fatalities and severe respiratory and metabolic complications in low-birth-weight premature infants. However, many experts feel that, in the absence of benzyl alcohol-free equivalents, the amount of the preservative present in these formulations should not necessarily preclude their use if they are clearly indicated. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers benzyl alcohol in low doses (such as when used as a preservative in some medications) to be safe for newborns. Continuous infusions of high dosages of medications containing benzyl alcohol may, however, cause toxicity and should be avoided if possible.