Rapid infusion of rituximab over 60 min

Eur J Haematol. 2009 Apr;82(4):322-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2009.01215.x. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


The use of rituximab is increasing and regular administration over 2 to 3 h requires considerable healthcare resources and is inconvenient for patients. There is interest in reducing rituximab administration times and although infusion of rituximab over 90 min is safe, there is limited data on the safety of 60 min infusions. We recently changed our second and subsequent rituximab infusion protocol to a 60 min constant rate infusion for patients who had no significant reaction to their first infusion and conducted a prospective safety audit. Fifty-four patients aged between 20 and 86 received 105 rapid 60-min-rituximab infusions without any significant infusion reactions. We also conducted a survey of 20 major cancer centres in the UK and asked about their local rituximab administration policy. We found that 70% are using 90 min rituximab infusion protocols and that 25% are using slower rate infusions. Only one surveyed unit (5%) was using a 60 min rituximab infusion protocol. This study shows that rapid rituximab infusions over 60 min is safe and can be considered for most patients. This finding has considerable beneficial service implications for patients and healthcare providers and shows that there is considerable scope for further reduction in rituximab administration times within the UK.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / adverse effects
  • Infusions, Intravenous / methods
  • Kinetics
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Rituximab
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Rituximab