Rituxan and vasculitis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2011approved Rituxan (rituximab), in combination with glucocorticoids (steroids), to treat patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), two rare disorders that cause blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis). Case reports and sereis suggest that it may also be effective in otehr types of vasculitis, particularly those with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated vasculitis. Several patients with chronic cutaneous small-vessel vasculitis have also been treated effectively with this agent. Interestingly, one case report suggested that Rituxan itself can cause leukocytoclastic vasculitis.

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