Rituximab: Its efficacy, effectiveness and safety in the treatment of multiple sclerosis

Luciana Midaglia, Liliana Mora, Patricia Mulero, Jaume Sastre-Garriga, Xavier Montalban

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Revista de Neurología. Introduction. There is increasing evidence that B cells and humoral immunity play key roles in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Ocrelizumab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, has been shown to be effective in controlling the disease and has recently been aproved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of primary progressive and relapsing MS. While awaiting its marketing authorization, the use of rituximab, with a similar mechanism of action, has expanded widely in the area of demyelinating diseases. Aim. To address the main aspects of efficacy, effectiveness and safety of rituximab in the treatment of MS. Development. PubMed review of placebo-controlled clinical trials, prospective open label studies, retrospective observational studies, and case series using rituximab in adult MS affected populations were performed. Its impact on the clinical and radiological control of the disease was evaluated, as well as any relevant safety issues. Conclusions. In all of the studies reviewed, rituximab demonstrated a consistent benefit in controlling inflammatory activity, both clinically, reducing the incidence of relapses, and radiologically, avoiding the appearance of new and/or active lesions. On the contrary, with regards to the progression of disability, its effect is more controversial. Safety profile appears acceptable. Rituximab seems to be an effective and safe drug in the treatment of MS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
JournalRevista de Neurologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Effectiveness
  • Efficacy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rituximab
  • Safety

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