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In the USA Rituxan is not FDA approved so it must be prescribed off-label. Pre-approval is a must. It is extremely expensive and is usually reserved for people who have not responded to other drugs.

Rituxan can be administered in different ways. The protocol in my area is 2 IV infusions 2 weeks apart of 1000 mgs each. Prior to the infusion Aspirin, Benadryl and Decadron are adminstered to help prevent any side effects. It is started very slowly and if tolerated the speed of the drip is increased. If side effects do occur then the IV is slowed down. Therefore the administration time can vary from person to person.

During the first infusion I did have flu like symptoms such as a sore throat, slight cough, chills and fever. My blood pressure bounced around a bit also. Additional Aspirin took care of all the side effects quickly. I have had no side effects during subsequent infusions. To date I have had 3 complete rounds and am waiting for the fourth. In general the first day the infusion takes 6 hours for me and the second between 4 or 5.

Initially I didn't think Rituxan was the drug for me. It took about 4 months for me to notice any improvement. During those 4 months the fatigue was like none other I had experienced before. The change in cognitive abilities was the first thing I noticed. Then my speech improved. Finally came the other neurological improvements. In subsequent rounds I have responded much quicker. Rituxan does not put into remission but it does stop the progression of the disease.

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