How Rituxan Is Thought to Work
ANCAs are produced by plasma cells, which develop from B-cells
Antibodies are produced by the immune system. Their job is to fight germs. But in GPA and MPA, something goes wrong. Harmful antibodies called autoantibodies (pronounced aw-toh-AN-ti-bod-ees) are produced. The autoantibody often involved in GPA and MPA is known as ANCA. ANCAs attack healthy tissue and cells.
ANCAs are produced by B-cells. They target a certain type of white blood cell called neutrophils (pronounced NOO-truh-fils). ANCAs cause the neutrophils to stick and clump to the walls of small blood vessels in different tissues and organs of the body. This process leads to inflammation.
Rituxan® (rituximab) decreases the number of B-cells by targeting those that have a specific marker on their cell surface called CD20. It is thought that interfering with B-cell function can disrupt ANCA production.
Rituxan targets B-cells and is thought to reduce their lifespan in the body
It is believed that B-cells, a type of white blood cell that is found in the immune system, may play a role in Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA). Rituxan targets only certain B-cells.
Because it is thought to interfere with B-cell function and disrupt ANCA production, Rituxan works differently from other medications used to treat GPA and MPA.
What are the most common side effects during treatment with Rituxan?
- Infusion reactions
- Infections (may include fever, chills)
- Body aches
In patients with GPA or MPA, the most common side effects of Rituxan also include:
- Low white and red blood cells
- Muscle spasms
Other side effects include:
- Aching joints during or within hours of receiving an infusion
- More frequent upper respiratory tract infections
Please see below and the Rituxan Medication Guide for additional Important Side Effect Information, including Most Serious Side Effects.
Call 1-877-317-5179 to talk about your Rituxan treatment.