Compare Enbrel vs. Rituxan

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Enbrel
(etanercept)

Rituxan
(rituximab)

Calms down your immune system to prevent joint damage. Enbrel (etanercept) effectively calms down your immune system, but it puts you at risk of serious infections.Calms down your immune system. Rituxan (Rituximab) is effective for treating multiple types of cancer and arthritis. That said, you'll need to watch for possibly serious side effects, especially infusion reactions.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.99Enbrel
Reviews for Enbrel
62%
of people (All ages) say Enbrel is worth it
53%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Enbrel (etanercept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Rituxan (rituximab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EnbrelRituxan
  • Infections 11%
  • Upper airway infections 8%
  • Injection site reactions 26%
  • Non-upper respiratory infections 6%
  • Rash 1%
  • Fever 3%
  • Itchiness 1%
More Enbrel side effects »
  • Fever 60%
  • Lung disorder 31%
  • Cardiac disorder 28%
  • Chills 13%
  • Any infection 62%
  • Infusion reaction 12%
  • Any serious infection 11%
  • Cardiac side effect 1%
  • Tested positive for haca 23%
More Rituxan side effects »
How it works
EnbrelRituxan
Enbrel (etanercept) blocks a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) in the immune system which lowers inflammation, relieves symptoms and prevents disease progression.Rituxan (Rituximab) is a monoclonal antibody. It targets a specific protein on white blood cells that makes it easier for your immune system to find and destroy cancerous cells. It also relieves symptoms and slows the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Type of medication
EnbrelRituxan
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
EnbrelRituxan
  • Injection
  • Infusion (iv)
Used for
EnbrelRituxan
Risk factors for serious side effects
EnbrelRituxan
  • Latex allergy
  • History of heart failure
  • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
  • Age 65 or older
Detailed Enbrel (etanercept) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
  • Age 60 or older
  • Weak immune system
  • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with immunosuppressant drugs (if using for RA)
  • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with chemotherapy (if using for NHL or CLL
Detailed Rituxan (rituximab) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
EnbrelRituxan
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Discuss with your doctor the serious heart, kidney, liver, or stomach problems that can happen while on Rituxan (Rituximab).
Upsides and benefits
EnbrelRituxan
  • People taking Enbrel (etanercept) for rheumatoid arthritis showed significant improvement and were able to reduce the dose or stop their other RA medicines.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can work for you even if other medications didn't help your rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is the first biologic approved for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Since it has been around for a long time, its side effects are well known.
  • Many people have only minor or no side effects.
  • It's available as a pre-filled syringe and SureClick auto-injector pen which some people find more convenient and easier to use.
  • Treats leukemia, lymphoma, and blood vessel inflammation.
  • Also treats moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis that hasn't responded to anti-TNF treatment (but you'll need to take methotrexate too).
  • The chance of having a reaction to the infusion is highest during your first dose, but the risk decreases each time you get Rituxan (Rituximab). It usually happens within 30 minutes to 2 hours after starting the infusion.
  • Rituxan (Rituximab) is a targeted therapy that works differently than chemotherapy. Both work well when they're taken together, especially when treating CLL and NHL.
Downsides and risks
EnbrelRituxan
  • Enbrel (etanercept) raises your risk of serious or life-threatening infections, including tuberculosis (TB).
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia and other cancers.
  • May not be the best choice if you have a history of heart failure or nervous system problems like multiple sclerosis.
  • You'll need to have regular blood tests before and during treatment to make sure you don't have any problems taking Enbrel (etanercept).
  • You could get injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, rash, itching, or bruising.
  • Only your doctor or other trained medical staff can administer Rituxan (Rituximab), so you'll need to go into an office or clinic for every dose.
  • Not the best choice if you have heart problems.
  • Rituxan (Rituximab) can stay in your body for up to 6 months after you complete treatment. Men and women who are able to have children need to use birth control for up to one year after finishing Rituxan (Rituximab).
  • Discuss with your doctor the serious heart, kidney, liver, or stomach problems that can happen while on Rituxan (Rituximab).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EnbrelRituxan
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is available as an injection and a SureClick Autoinjector. You and your doctor can discuss which is best for you.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is a medication that's injected under the skin (subcutaneous). Your doctor can give you your first dose, then let you self-inject it once you learn how to do it correctly.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections including tuberculosis (TB), fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. Your doctor will check for TB and hepatitis B before starting Enbrel (etanercept). Let your doctor know if you come down with a fever, cough, or notice flu-like symptoms before or during treatment.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can cause redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising at the site of injection. Do not inject into skin that's already red, bruised, or irritated. Rotate your injection areas to avoid skin reactions.
  • Keep Enbrel (etanercept) refrigerated, but let it rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before using it. Enbrel (etanercept) should not be used if kept at room temperature for longer than 14 days.
  • You should not receive certain vaccinations with Enbrel (etanercept). Discuss with your doctor about your vaccine history and whether you need to receive any vaccines before treatment.
  • Rituxan (Rituximab) is given as an IV infusion by trained medical staff in a clinic or hospital.
  • You'll need to be monitored in the clinic in case you have a serious or life-threatening reaction during the infusion, but you can take other medications that'll lower your risk of this happening.
  • It's very important that you read the Medication Guide before you start taking Rituxan (Rituximab).
  • Rituxan (Rituximab) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you notice a fever, a cough that doesn't go away, or flu-like symptoms.
  • Use effective birth control while you're taking Rituxan (Rituximab) and for 12 months after you finish treatment.
  • Don't get live vaccines while you're taking Rituxan (Rituximab).
Learn more
More about EnbrelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Enbrel (etanercept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RituxanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Rituxan (rituximab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it