Available by prescription only, ibritumomab is a drug used to treat a certain type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It comes as an injection that is administered intravenously by your healthcare provider. Although this drug can help slow down the progression of cancer, it may not be suitable for some people who are taking certain medications or have certain medical conditions.
What Is Ibritumomab?Ibritumomab (Zevalin®) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. It is used in combination with rituximab (Rituxan®). Ibritumomab belongs to a group of medications known as monoclonal antibodies.
Ibritumomab is a synthetic (manufactured) antibody. It is linked to tiutexan, a molecule that helps the antibody attach to a radioactive isotope known as Yttrium-90 (or simply Y-90). Because it attaches to this isotope, ibritumomab is considered a radioactive medication.
(Click What Is Ibritumomab Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
Are There Side Effects?Just like any medicine, ibritumomab can cause side effects, some of which can be significant. Although not everyone who receives this medicine will have problems, most people will experience some type of adverse reaction with this drug. Talk to your healthcare provider about strategies to prevent or treat side effects you may experience. He or she may give you medicines to help manage some of the reactions caused by this drug.
Common side effects of ibritumomab include but are not limited to:
- Low blood cell counts
- Common cold symptoms
- Abdominal (stomach) pain.
(Click Ibritumomab Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)