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Rituxan vs. Actemra

Reviewed on 4/9/2019

Are Rituxan and Actemra the Same Thing?

Rituxan (rituximab) and Actemra (mycophenolate mofetil) are used to treat arthritis.

Rituxan is also used in combination with other cancer medicines to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Actemra is also used to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. Actemra is usually given with cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral) and a steroid medication.

Rituxan and Actemra belong to different drug classes. Actemra is an immunosuppressive agent and Rituxan is a cancer medication.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Rituxan?

Common side effects of Rituxan include:

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Rituxan including:

  • increased thirst or urination,
  • swelling of the hands or feet, or
  • tingling of the hands or feet.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Actemra?

Common side effects of Actemra include:

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Actemra including:

  • severe stomach pain with constipation,
  • bloody or tarry stools,
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds,
  • painful blistering skin rash with burning/itching/tingly feeling,
  • upper stomach pain,
  • vomiting,
  • loss of appetite,
  • dark urine,
  • clay-colored stools, or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

What Is Rituxan?

Rituxan (rituximab) is a cancer medication used in combination with other cancer medicines to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rituxan is also used in combination with another drug called methotrexate to treat symptoms of adult rheumatoid arthritis.

What Is Actemra?

Actemra (tocilizumab) is an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in children and adults.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

What Drugs Interact With Rituxan?

Rituxan may interact with cisplatin, adalimumab, auranofin, azathioprine, cyclosporine, etanercept, infliximab, leflunomide, minocycline, sulfasalazine, blood pressure medications, or medication to treat malaria.

What Drugs Interact With Actemra?

Actemra may interact with other drugs, including birth control pills, blood thinners, cyclosporine, digoxin, omeprozole, sirolimus, theophylline, abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, cholesterol-lowering medications, seizure medications, heart rhythm medications, drugs that weaken your immune system, and pain or arthritis medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you take. If you are pregnant, only take Actemra if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known if Actemra passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Rituxan Be Taken?

Rituxan is administered under a physician's supervision. The dose of Rituxan varies depending on the disorder being treated and the number of infusions (doses) needed.

How Should Actemra Be Taken?

Actemra is given once every four weeks by intravenous (IV) infusion by your doctor. Actemra can be taken with or without methotrexate (or other DMARDs).

SLIDESHOW

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow
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References
SOURCE:

Genentech. Rituxan Product Information.

https://www.genentech-access.com/hcp/brands/rituxan/rituxan-ra.html


Genentech. Actemra Product Information.

https://www.actemra.com/
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