What Is Rituximab Used For?

How Does Rituximab Work?

Rituximab is an antibody that binds to a specific antigen (known as CD20 antigen) on the surface of B cells. B cells are a type of lymphocyte (white blood cell) that plays a role in the immune system and inflammation. By binding to the CD20 antigen, rituximab signals the body to destroy the B cells (including cancerous B cells, if the medication is being used to treat cancer).
Interestingly, rituximab is made by fusing part of a mouse antibody with part of a human antibody and is grown in the ovary cells of Chinese hamsters.

Can Children Use It?

Rituximab is approved only for use in people age 18 and older, as it has not been adequately studied in children. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using rituximab in this age group.

Off-Label Uses for Rituximab

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this product for something other than the conditions listed in this article. These are known as off-label uses. Some of the possible off-label rituximab uses include treating the following conditions:
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia in children
  • Chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Graft-versus-host disease.
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Rituximab Drug Information

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