Efficacy and safety of rituximab for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Yang Hu, Hao Nie, Hai Han Yu, Chuan Qin, LongJun Wu, Zhou Ping Tang, Dai Shi Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Results: Fifteen studies that collectively included 946 patients were selected for the meta-analysis. Rituximab therapy was associated with the mean annualized relapse rates decreasing by 0.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.45–1.15) and the mean Expanded Disability Status Scale score decreasing by 0.46 (95% confidence interval, 0.05–0.87). The likelihood of patients experiencing a relapse after starting rituximab therapy was only 15% (95% confidence interval, 7%–26%). Although mild-to-moderate adverse events occurred in 29.6% of the patients, there were no severe adverse events. Conclusions and relevance: This systematic review and meta-analysis shows that rituximab is associated with reduced annualized relapse rates and disability levels in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is also well tolerated and is not associated with serious adverse events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Efficacy
  • Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
  • Rituximab
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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