1 What is Gazyva?

Generic: Obinutuzumab (Intravenous Route)

Gazyva is used in injection form in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) which is a type of blood cancer.

It is usually used in combination with chlorambucil. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the body which are eventually destroyed.

This medicine can only be used under the direct supervision of your doctor.

This product is available in the Solution dosage form.

2 What to Know Before Using

Every medicine has potential side effects. So, the benefits of a drug should always be weighed against its associated risks. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children.

The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.

Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect.

On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from especially:

  • Infection—May decreases your body's ability to fight infection.
  • Hepatitis B infection
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Neutropenia (low white blood cells)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

3 Proper Usage

This medication is only administered under the supervision of a trained nurse or a doctor. It is given intravenously.

You may also receive an injection to prevent any allergic reaction from this medicine.

4 Precautions to Take

If you have any symptoms of liver injury, like skin and eyes turning yellow, right-sided stomach pain, dark brown-colored urine, fever, or severe tiredness, tell your doctor right away.

This medication can increase your risk of getting a life-threatening brain infection progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: vision changes, loss of coordination, clumsiness, memory loss, difficulty speaking or understanding what others say, or weak legs.

This medicine may cause an infusion reaction within a few hours after you receive it.

Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you have chest pain, hives, fever, chills, itching, flushing of the face, rash, dizziness, fainting, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat.

This drug can also result in a serious type of reaction called tumor lysis syndrome.

Tell your doctor if you experience any change in urine amount, joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, a rapid weight gain, swelling of the feet or lower legs, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Regular follow-up is necessary during and after the treatment. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment. The doctor may order some blood tests in order to determine the blood levels of the drug.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

All drugs have a tendency to cause unwanted effects along with its desired effects. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

Obinutuzumab is associated with following side effects:

  • a cough or hoarseness
  • back pain
  • bleeding gums
  • trouble breathing
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • fever
  • chest tightness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • chills
  • flushing
  • headache
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • lower back, side, or stomach pain
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • sore throat
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • convulsions
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dark urine
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • light-colored stools
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • headache
  • yellow eyes and skin

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also, contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.

If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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