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Jemima Puddleduck
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 2/5/2007 1:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm wondering if anyone has received RITUXAN infusions as a treatment for RA. It was suggested by one of the rheumatologists my son sees. He's had no success with ENBREL, HUMIRA or ORENCIA and REMICADE seemed to help the RA but brought on psoriasis! Imagine a drug that is supposed to help psoriasis actually causing it. We were stupified to read this on the REMICADE website.
He's running out of options.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 2/5/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
There's a young man at the chemo-lab who recieves Rituxan. I see em' at every infusion. Fom what I see, he tolerates the infusions well...he walks good.
He looks about 30 years old.
If I ever get into a conversation with em'...I'll be sure to inquire about what therapies he's tried already.
Take care Jem
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid. 

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/1/2012 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 4/2/2012 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
In my quest to find a drug that will help me w/o side effects, I tried the remicade and two days after the first infusion I was covered with psoriasis.  I have psoriatic arthritis but had never had the skin problems (my dad however was covered with psoriasis).  guess my arthritis is from his genes.  I had three good years on Humira till it just didn't work any more.   Since then I have tried remicade, Cimzia (flares got worse and I have  5 infections in 3 months).  Can't take Enbrel (injection site reaction).   My rheumy has had me on prednisone for a long time while trying to find another biological drug that will work.   Finally she decided to have me try the Humira again as I'd been off it for a year.  Took one injection and had to stop again because I now have a problem going on in my jaw.  Finally saw an oral surgeon today and he removed bone spurs from my gum that have been cutting into my tongue for over a week!  To top if off I don't think he got it all out.  I will see my periodontist tomorrow to have him take a look.   I was on fosamax for many years and then stopped after I heard it can cause fractures of the femur and osteonecrosis of the jaw.  I weaned myself off the prednisone and am convinced that being on it for so long, as well as the off and on biological drugs may have cause this problem.   I think it was just a coincidence that it happened after I took the Humira as I never had one infection of any kind when I was on it before.  I'm hoping this jaw thing clears up quickly and that I can get on the Humira again and get a few more good years from it.  Sorry to ramble on - my poor body is weary and I just wish I could get off all this stuff for awhile but know I'd be in a wheelchair, and unable to use my hands in no time.  Just have to keep trying till something works.  Oh - forgot to mention I also had to have a lung biopsy in November  cause CT showed nodules in lungs and lymph nodes.  Was sure I had lung cancer and even wrote up a list for my husband in case I died.  They ruled out cancer, TB, sarcoid etc and said that my arthritis is so severe it probably is causing these nodules (can get them anywhere even your brain).  I read too much.  Anyway hopefully they won't grow and can't help but wonder if the some of the meds caused the problem.  So much the doctors don't know about these meds either.
Hang in there - one day at a time - we will overcome!!!
Alicat :-)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/3/2012 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Rituxin, yes, I tried it, I had two infusions and they did not help my RA at all.  Actually, I had bad flares after them.  On the brite side, I didn't itch from a bug bite for nearly two years and my hair became an nice chocolate brown instead of all gray and I also ended up with a natural body curl.....better than any perm I ever had.   I have failed, Enbrel, Kineret ( or something like that ) Sulfasalzine, Methotrexate, plaquenil, Rituxin maybe others I can't think of at the moment.  I'm currently on Humira not sure that it will work much longer.  I respond well with Prednisone, but once I got up to 20mg a day it made me hostile.   (although I kind of enjoyed that probably a bit too much lol).  Can't say I had a bad reaction to the Rituxin other than I felt extremely jittery for several days and very tired, no energy, that and it just didn't work and I flared bad and couldn't dress myself etc.  This was three years ago.
Wishing you great success with whatever you choose to do.
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