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Rituximab is used alone or with other medications to treat certain types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL; a type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection). Rituximab is also used with another medication to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA; a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in people who have already been treated with a certain type of medication called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor. Rituximab is in a class of medications called biologic antineoplastic agents. It treats NHL by causing the death of blood cells that have multiplied abnormally. It treats rheumatoid arthritis by causing the death of certain blood cells that may cause the immune system to attack the joints.
Rituximab comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected into a vein. Rituximab is administered by a doctor or nurse in a medical office or infusion center. When rituximab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, it is usually given as 2 doses spaced 2 weeks apart. When rituximab is used to treat NHL it is either given once a week for 4-8 weeks or on the first day of each chemotherapy cycle. Your dosing schedule will depend on the condition that you have, the other medications you are using, and how well your body responds to treatment.
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