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Polatuzumab is used to treat a certain type of lymphoma (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, also known as DLBCL). This medication works by stopping the growth of cancer cells.
This medication is given by slow injection into a vein by a health care professional. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment.
Before you receive this medication, your doctor will direct you to take other medications (such as acetaminophen, diphenhydramine) to help prevent side effects. Your doctor should also prescribe other medications (such as antibiotics, antiviral medications) to help prevent infection. Use these medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Infusion reactions may happen while you are receiving this drug and for 24 hours afterward. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as fever, chills, shortness of breath, flushing, itching, or dizziness.
See also How to Use section.
Dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/tingling/weakness/pain of the hands/feet/arms/legs, signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin).
This medication decreases bone marrow function, an effect that may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, shortness of breath), easy bruising/bleeding.
Polatuzumab sometimes causes side effects due to the rapid destruction of cancer cells (tumor lysis syndrome). To lower your risk, your doctor may add a medication and tell you to drink plenty of fluids. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as: low back/side pain (flank pain), signs of kidney problems (such as painful urination, pink/bloody urine, change in the amount of urine), muscle spasms/weakness.
This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking/walking, seizure, vision changes.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have ever had a severe reaction to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: recent/current infections, liver disease, kidney disease.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Polatuzumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using polatuzumab. Polatuzumab may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication. Women using this medication should use reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after stopping treatment. Men using this medication should use reliable forms of birth control during treatment and for 5 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended during treatment and for at least 2 months after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug are: other drugs that weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection (such as natalizumab, rituximab).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, kidney/liver function, blood mineral levels) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
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