Ritixumab. Does this treatment work?

I had rituximab on 12/20/27 December 2012 and 3 January 2013. Before the treatment my count was 18 but after the first dose went up to 49, second 36, 3rd 36 last dose 35. I had bloods done yesterday and my count was 28. My consultant told me before I had the treatment that it would take at least 3 months to see if the treatment has worked. Because my count has dropped since finishing the treatment does it mean it has not worked?

11 Replies

  • I had Rituximab treatment back in August 2010 and the good news is that I have been in remission ever since. My platelets responded very quickly to it and went up from 34 to 119 within a week of my first dose and they have remained over 100 since then. My last count was 134 in November 2012. As with all ITP treatments we all respond differently to them and respond at different pace. My specialist also warned me that Rituximab can take a while (upto 3 months ) to have Aristide and lasting impact on the platelet count. It is obviously a bit too soon to say with any certainty whether Rituximab has worked for you . It is very annoying that it takes a while to know for sure whether it has worked or not but you will know better in another month to six weeks. I have heard of Rituximab providing a good response in many cases albeit even though I have had it and it seems to have worked for me I am still not quite sure exactly what it does. My understanding of Rituximab is that it acts as a protector for our platelets and stops them from being destroyed. Whatever it does I am so grateful for the remission that it has given me so far although I accept that ITP could come back at some point. Anyway, just hope that you get a positive response soon. Do keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you Anthony. I just hope it works. I am concerned that it might not because my count has been slowly going down and not up. What other treatments work?

  • Rituximab works for something like 40% of people who try it. What it does is kills off the B Cells which are a type of white blood cell that make antibodies. It doesn't work for everyone because it is likely that ITP is really a bunch of disorders with differing modes. All the treatments work for a percentage of people, although sometimes only in the short term.

  • Thank you for your response CamdenGirl.

  • My son has had Itp for 16 years, he is 18 now. He has had Ritixumab twice, the first time it took over 4 months before it worked and then it was fantastic, his life changed dramatically and he stayed in remission for 2 years. The second time it worked within weeks and he is still in remission 17 months later. I know different treatments work for different people but hopefully things will begin to improve soon - good luck xx

  • I expected my count to go up not down after treatment but I guess I will have to be patient and hope things improve soon. It is good to know that your son is still in remission.

  • Hi my daughter has Rituximab back in April 2012 and count went up a few months later. She has since had 4 infusions again in Oct/Nov 2012 but unfortunately took a reaction on 3rd infusion which had to be stopped, they tried it again the following week and once again had to be stopped. Her count at the moment is slowly going up which is approx 3 months later, she is however on mycophenolate and eltrombopag now so we can't be sure if it is the Rituximab or the combination of mycophenolate and eltrombopag. Every ITP sufferer reacts differently to each treatment, good luck and I hope you are soon to be on the way up.

  • Hi lindylou45 Did your daughters count go down 4 weeks after the first treatment? Any treatment I have steriods, IVIG I do respond to the first dose but then my count goes down. Although I must say that with Rituximab my count is going down slowly. Thank you for your response.

  • Hi to memory can't say that I actually remember if it went down 4 weeks after first infusion as she has had so much treatment and is refractory to so much and her count has never (until 2 weeks ago) been above 6. Sorry can't be of much help.


  • Hello sgreenhalgh,

    yes I share your thoughts on Ritixumab. I'm new with IPT and had gone through a range of treatments including Ritixumab with still my platelets on ZERO.

    They say that the effect will take time but how frustration this is! You can see my link below.


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