How it works

Rituximab is a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody, which are man-made antibodies designed to bind to specific targets in the body. In the case of Rituximab, it targets a type of white blood cell called a B cell and destroys them. B cells play a role in making antibodies and therefore by destroying them, Rituximab suppresses the immune response seen to cause symptoms of myasthenia.

How it is delivered

Rituximab is delivered via intravenous infusion (IV), meaning it comes through a drip into the vein.

When you have it

The IV treatment takes place as a two-dose course with a two-week interval between courses. This will take place at a hospital for a few hours on each occasion.

Side Effects

When starting any new treatment, it is possible to experience unwanted side effects. You will be routinely assessed by your doctor physically and with blood tests to keep on top of any adverse effects. Possible side effects associated with Rituximab are:

  • Fever, chills, shivering (within the first two hours of infusion)
  • Itching of skin
  • Nausea

The healthcare professional providing your treatment will go over an extended list of possible side effects and if you have any questions or concerns feel free to speak with them or your doctor. If you are worried about starting treatment on Rituximab, other members of myaware may be able to share their experiences in our Facebook group.

Known UK suppliers

Roche Products Ltd, Sandoz Ltd, Celltrion Healthcare UK Ltd, Pfizer Ltd.


As there remains to be more research into the effect of Rituximab on pregnancy, women of child-bearing age must use contraception while undergoing treatment. It is generally recommended to leave a gap of 1 year between having rituximab and trying for a baby if you are planning on getting pregnant. Do not breastfeed while on Rituximab.

You may drink alcohol in moderate amounts while on Rituximab.

Immunisations should take place at least two weeks before your infusion. Live vaccines should be avoided.

If you are taking Warfarin, please consult your doctor as Rituximab can interfere with this medication.

After starting treatment, a response is usually only evident after about 6 weeks.

Report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Click here to report a side effect to the MHRA.