Rituxan is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis in conjunction with Methotrexate. Rituxan may be prescribed off-label to treat lupus, especially in cases of severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that are not responsive to standard treatments. Rituxan is also known by its drug name, Rituximab.
Rituxan is an immunomodulator, or drug that modulates the immune system. Rituxan is also a biologic drug. Rituxan is believed to work by destroying white cells called B-lymphocytes that contribute to autoimmune attacks in lupus.
How do I take it?
Rituxan is administered as an intravenous infusion once every 16 to 20 weeks after initial loading doses.
Rituxan comes in the form of a single-use vial.
The FDA-approved label for Rituxan lists common side effects including headache, fever, chills, cold symptoms, infections, muscle spasms, nausea, diarrhea, blood cell disorders, swelling in the hands and feet, and infusion reactions.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Rituxan can include life-threatening cardiac events and bowel obstruction or perforation.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Rituxan – Genentech
Treatments being studied for lupus – Lupus Foundation of America