Long-Term Safety of Rituximab (Risks of Viral and Opportunistic Infections)

Cara D. Varley, Kevin L. Winthrop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We reviewed the current data on infections associated with rituximab use published over the last 5 years. Recent Findings: New literature was available on rates of serious infections, Hepatitis B reactivation and screening, and infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Summary: Rates of infection varied by study and population, however, higher risk of infection in patients with underlying rheumatologic diseases was seen in those who required a therapy switch, had a smoking history, and those undergoing retreatment who had a serious infection with their first course of therapy. With regards to HBV, the proportion of patients screened continues to be inadequate. Despite the upfront cost, HBV screening and prophylaxis were found to be cost effective. There is still limited data regarding COVID-19 severity in the setting of rituximab, however, rituximab, especially in combination with steroids, may lead to more severe disease and higher mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis B
  • Infection
  • Rituximab
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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