Warning given on Rituxan’s use as a lupus treatment

Two pharmaceutical manufacturing companies recently warned doctors of two deaths among patients receiving Rituxan as a treatment for lupus. Usually used to treat patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, the drug is not currently approved as a therapy for lupus.

The patients who had received the drug developed a rare brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The FDA posted a public health advisory on its Web site after the two deaths.

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