Rituximab vs Tocilizumab

Squarefish Member Posts: 2
edited 15. Jul 2019, 09:34 in Living with arthritis

I am new to the forum.
I am 53 yrs old and have been living with rheumatoid arthritis for 13 years. For the majority of those years, I have been using etanercept injections and my condition has been under control and I have been leading a fairly active life.
However 2 months ago everything went haywire and I have pain in almost all my joints.
My consultant said we need to change the medication. He has asked me to decide between the drugs Rituximab and Tocilizumab.

The former being administered 6month/yearly, with 2 x 4hour sessions at the hospital. The later is as my last injection, and is administered, by myself, weekly.

Could anyone give me some feeback of the 2 drugs, to help me make this decision?

Many Thanks in advance,


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi squaarefish
    Welcome to the forum. We are all friendly and understanding and will try and make you feel part of the forum, we all have various levels of pain and know what you are going through, we also have various forms of Arthritis. The most popular forums are Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat.
    All the best Christine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Elaine and welcome from me too. I'm sorry you're flaring. It sounds like a bad one and, yes, sometimes we have no option but to increase or change the meds.

    I get by on meth and hydroxy so I've no personal experience of biologics. I only know what I read on here and that leads me to conclude that it really is a matter of 'horses for courses' with all the meds we take, not just the biologics. Some suit one person and others another. You can read about them both here https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments/drugs/

    I hope someone will be around soon with some personal knowledge but I do hope that, whichever one you choose, it works well for you.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's a shame that your good run has come to an end but all things do. I have had a number of biologics over the years but neither of those two. I can recall people on here who have had both, either individually or in succession, but I cannot tell you who or when they last posted.

    What works for one is anathema to another, the only answer is stuck it and see. Good luck and I hope you are soon restored to better health. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi , welcome to the forum , I have been on both , Tocilizumab was ok , but my joint was still playing up so was changed to Rituximab , I real got on well with it but I need several joint replaced & for this reason they stopped it ,

    the main problem with Rituximab in the time it takes for the infusion , but I would recommend this over any of the anti-tnf biologics , I had no side effects , hope the new drug helps which ever you chose
  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi. I can only say I’ve had Retux not the other. After going through the paperwork with specialist nurses I soon found myself in the medical day care having the first round. It took about 7 hours to complete with half a bag of IV steroids at the beginning and end. A week off to get blood tests then week after same procedure repeated . Only problem I encountered last year was a reaction to the steroids. I was manic. But that’s just me So a few months ago I had it again minus them but had a reaction. Don’t be put off as I get loads of drug reactions. It really helped by RA. So I’m on a new quest.