Rituximab used to treat skin disorders

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A new review article from the journal Dermatologic Therapy reveals that rituximab, a drug used to treat lymphoma, is now becoming used by dermatologists to treat various dangerous skin diseases.

Originally developed as the standard therapy in treating aggressive lymphomas, the drug rituximab is showing increased non-cancer use. The study reviewed the off-label uses of rituximab in dermatology and found that it successfully treated patients with various kinds of blistering skin disease, including pemphigus vulgaris, dermatomyositis, and paraneoplastic pemphigus.

Newer, safer treatments are being studied for serious dermatologic disorders, and rituximab's efficacy has been shown in a variety of dangerous skin problems. “As case reports and randomized trials explore the utility of rituximab,” the authors note, “the indications for rituximab will continue to be defined.”

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