In October 2009, I started my first Rituxan therapy. Rituxan is a drug given through an IV in two treatments, each consisting of 6 hours. It looks like this drug is working well for me with the combination of 3,000 mg. of Cellcept. We're not sure how many treatments I will get a year, but you do have to have them 4 months apart at the earliest. My doctor's appointment we should know more about this. I thought I would post some information on the drug, as well as the other drugs I am currently taking... more or less for my own personal record.
Rituxan: is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body. Rituxan is used in combination with other cancer medicines to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is also used in combination with other immunsuppressants to treat RA.
Rituxan targets a specific protein called CD20 located on the surface of B-cells. Rituxan is believed tow ork with the body's immune system to eliminate the CD20-positive, cancerous B-cells. It doesn't target cells that develop into B-cells or those that produce antibodies.
Side effects: chest pain, trouple breathing, numbness, fever, chills, body aches, easy bruising, skin rash, stomach pain, nausea, headache, muscle or joint pain, night sweats, swelling in hands or feet.
More information, click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rituximab.
Any person coping with Antisynthetase Syndrome, I would highly recommend talking to your talking Doctor about Rituxan. It was pretty harmless and the only side effects I had were fatigue and some headach pain. It seems it might be one of the final piece in this crazy jigsaw puzzle.
I am currently taking 2 20 mg. tablets daily of prilosec (helps with heartburn), 6 500 mg. tablets of Cellcelpt (immunesuppressant), 9 Ibuprofen, 2 Aleve PM, 1 Tramadol (pain medicine), 1 Bactrium tablet (helps prevent lung infection while I am on steroids), 1 Vitamin D tablet, 2 20 mg. tablets of prednisone... total 24 pills a day... gasp! I know, but in the scheme of things, last January I was taking close to 40 pills a day due to infections I was dealing with. I recently had to purchase a new pill case... yes I have an "old person" pill case. I would highly recommend it though. It seperates AM from PM and you can pull apart each day. I found it at Target. It definately simplifies things if you have to take a lot of pills. Plus, it's fun colors that are bright... I was pretty excited when I found it! Its the little things in life that count! :)