Rituxan vs. Actemra

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.


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).


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

All drug information provided on RxList.com is sourced directly from drug monographs published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Any drug information published on RxList.com regarding general drug information, drug side effects, drug usage, dosage, and more are sourced from the original drug documentation found in its FDA drug monograph.

Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

The drug comparisons information provided does not cover every potential use, warning, drug interaction, side effect, or adverse or allergic reaction. RxList.com assumes no responsibility for any healthcare administered to a person based on the information found on this site.

As drug information can and will change at any time, RxList.com makes every effort to update its drug information. Due to the time-sensitive nature of drug information, RxList.com makes no guarantees that the information provided is the most current.

Any missing drug warnings or information does not in any way guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or the lack of adverse effects of any drug. The drug information provided is intended for reference only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.

If you have specific questions regarding a drug’s safety, side effects, usage, warnings, etc., you should contact your doctor or pharmacist, or refer to the individual drug monograph details found on the FDA.gov or RxList.com websites for more information.

You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.


Genentech. Rituxan Product Information.


Genentech. Actemra Product Information.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors