RITUXIMAB

By Gary M. White, MD

Caution: Facts about drugs change frequently. The latest research, package insert, and FDA information should be consulted before prescribing.


Rituximab was approved in 1997 by the FDA to treat B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and in 2006 to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Rituximab is a human-mouse chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20, which is primarily found on the surface of immune system B cells and induces B-lymphocyte apoptosis. In dermatology, it is particularly helpful in pemphigus vulgaris.

Black Box Warnings

There are black box warnings for:

Side Effects

The most common side effects are:

Many other side effects are possible including nausea, vomiting, cardiac arrhythmias, and renal toxicity.

Contraindications (not all inclusive)

Time to respond

Average time to response is about 60 days.

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