Obinutuzumab (Generic Name)

Other Names: Gazyva®

About This Drug​

Obinutuzumab is a drug used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  The drug is given in the vein (IV).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Bone marrow suppression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding. This happens more often when this drug is used with other anti-cancer drugs.

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Changes in electrolytes, such as calcium and potassium
  • Increase in liver function tests such as SGOT and ALT
  • Decrease in albumin levels
  • Changes in kidney function

Infusion Reactions

Infusion Reactions are the most common side effect linked to use of this drug and can be quite severe.  Medicines will be given before you get the drug to lower the severity of this side effect.  The infusion reactions are the worse with the first dose of the drug and become less severe with more doses of the drug. 

Treating Side Effects

  • Your blood counts (white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets) will be checked often.
  • Your doctor will order blood work to check your electrolytes and liver function.
  • Your kidney function will be checked as needed. 

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of obinutuzumab with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help. 

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5°F (38.0°C) or above
  • Chills
  • Bleeding that is not normal or bleeding that you cannot control
  • You become pregnant while taking this medicine

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities
  • Abdominal pain

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: There are not enough studies on the use of obintuzumab in pregnant women.  Women of child-bearing age should use effective methods of birth control while getting this drug and for 12 months after the treatment is done.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if obinutuzumab is passed into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Revised July 2014

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