Prescription medications can be very useful in treating lupus and sle, or systemic lupus erythematosus. One newer drug is lupus Rituximab, and it is an intravenous type of medication. While sle Rituximab has not been shown to be helpful for all types of lupus, it has been shown to have specific benefits for patients with lupus nephritis and refractory systemic lupus erythematosus.  Because Rituximab is a more aggressive form of medication, it is usually used if other types of treatment aren’t working. Easier medications to take, such as oral pills, will usually be tried first. This medication can also be used if someone is in danger of going into kidney failure if they do not get immediate, aggressive treatment.

Rituximab must be introduced to the body slowly in order to make sure there are not going to be any serious side effects. This means that the first treatment session could last several hours. It is important to find a hospital or infusion center that you feel comfortable with. Bring something to keep you busy while undergoing the treatment.  Once you have received treatment for the first time, it can begin to go faster as your body gets used to the medication in the blood stream.

 

Side Effects of Lupus Rituximab

 

Since Rituximab is injected directly into a vein, side effects can be noticed very quickly. A doctor will usually want to monitor a patient very closely while they are receiving their first dose. Some common side effects can include nausea, heartburn, weakness, runny nose, numbness, tingling, or burning in the extremities, and muscle pain. If these become very severe, contact your doctor.  These side effects tend to lessen as your body gets used to the new medication.  Serious side effects could be severe stomach pain, sore throat, fever, chills, chest tightness, joint pain, or unusual bruising. Any of these symptoms require emergency care.  When seeking out medical attention, be sure to mention that you are taking Rituximab.

Your doctor will likely want to monitor you while you are taking this medication. Blood tests may be taken on a regular basis to ensure everything is normal. It is important to keep up with this care while taking this type of medication. This will ensure that your disease is under control while also keeping an eye on the levels of medication in the body, watching for side effects.

 

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