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Can rituximab affect other medicines and treatments?

Rituximab may be prescribed alongside other drugs, including methotrexate. However, some drugs may interact with rituximab so check with your doctor before starting any new medications, and remember to mention you're on rituximab if you're treated by anyone other than your usual rheumatology team.

Can I have vaccinations while I'm on rituximab?

It's usually recommended that people on rituximab avoid live vaccines such as yellow fever. However, sometimes a live vaccine may be necessary (for example, rubella immunisation in women of childbearing age).

If you're offered shingles vaccination (Zostavax) it's best if you can have this before starting rituximab. Otherwise, you may be able to have the vaccine between courses of rituximab when your B-cells have returned. Check with your rheumatology team.

Pneumococcal vaccine (which protects against the most common cause of pneumonia) and yearly flu vaccines should be given at least one month before a course of rituximab.

Can I continue with rituximab if I'm going to have an operation?

Planned operations are usually scheduled at least a month after your last rituximab infusion. Make sure your surgeon knows you're on rituximab.


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