Rituximab Shows Promise as Effective Therapy Option for Lupus Nephritis
In a new study, rituximab therapy was found to be an effective treatment option for lupus nephritis (LN) management. After six months of use, people with lupus nephritis taking the therapy showed notable clinical and laboratory (body fluid) improvements. The drug is commonly used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoma.
Researchers studied 40 women with lupus admitted in a hospital and who were taking rituximab. They examined and compared certain blood marker readings (such as, hemoglobin, leucocyte and platelet counts) as well as inflammatory markers upon admission and after 6 months of treatment. The researchers discovered significant disease improvement after 6 months of treatment with rituximab. Improvement was most common in participants ages 20-39 years, who had lupus less than 5 years, and who received four doses of rituximab as their initial course of treatment.
No adverse side effects due to rituximab use were exhibited by the study participants during the study. Further research is needed to assess the viability of rituximab. Researchers recommend conducting a renal biopsy prior to treatment with rituximab. Learn more about treatments being studied for lupus.
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