My partner is currently on Rituxan. Each treatment consists of 2 infusions separated over a two week period. She completed her first treatment ~4 weeks ago. She previously tried methotrexate, Enbrel and Humira. None of those medications helped at all. Her pain was so intense she started talking about euthanasia at the local vet clinic (since the human docs won't). She also has lupus, sjogren's, antiphosolipid syndrome and a few other autoimmune diseases.
The first several days after each infusion were rough - she was mostly fatigued and felt sick. The following week she felt great and barely touched a pain pill. The week after that she started slipping a little bit, but had a resurgence towards the end of that week. Currently, 4 weeks out, she seems to be slipping back again. We have a rheumy appt in ~2.5 wks, and we'll see what transpires between now and then. We're still hopeful that the Rituxan is working, but that she's having some ups and downs. I also notice that flares are related to hormone fluctuations, so hopefully we're experiencing a hormone fluctuation this week.
Thankfully, she hasn't had any opportunistic infections, despite airline travel. Over the past week she's been getting intermittent calf and feet swelling, and I was just reading that peripheral edema can occur as a result of Rituxan. It occurs mostly at evening & nighttime. We'll probably check for hyperuricemia at the next appt too, as that's also a potential side effect and can cause feet swelling.
We both felt that there really wasn't any other choice but to try Rituxan. Once you've graduated beyond Enbrel & Humira risk vs quality of life is all relative. She wasn't having quality of life. Our hope is that the Rituxan is still ramping up, and that she'll get the 6-month response from it.
I hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can tell you about her experience w/Rituxan.
Spouse of partner with RA diagnosis (2010), lupus (20+ yrs) and a host of other auto-immune diseases.
Started Humira 12/2011 (weekly); previously no response to Enbrel or MTX.
Upper extremity joint involvement: wrists & shoulders (+bursitis in right shoulder) primary; neck, ribs, knee, feet, intermittently.
Struggling with pain, fatigue & functioning.