Compare Methotrexate vs. Rituxan

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

Otrexup
(Methotrexate)

Rituxan
(Rituximab)

Treats cancer and changes how your immune system works. Otrexup (Methotrexate) is a first line treatment for many autoimmune diseases and types of cancer. If you're taking it for a long time, you'll have to get routine blood tests.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Otrexup (Methotrexate)?
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Have you used Rituxan (Rituximab)?
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Side effects
MethotrexateRituxan
  • Elevated liver function tests 15%
  • Nausea/vomiting 10%
  • Mouth and lip swelling 10%
  • Thrombocytopenia 10%
  • Rash/pruritus/dermatitis 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Hair loss or baldness 3%
  • Low white blood cells 3%
  • Low blood cell count 3%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Methotrexate 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
MethotrexateRituxan
Otrexup (Methotrexate) is an anti-cancer and immunosuppressive medication that treats forms of cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis. For cancer, it helps your body destroy cancer cells by blocking building blocks that cancer cells need to grow. For rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, it lowers the body's normal immune response and prevents the body from attacking itself.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
MethotrexateRituxan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
MethotrexateRituxan
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Infusion (iv)
Used for
MethotrexateRituxan
Risk factors for serious side effects
MethotrexateRituxan
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Men of childbearing potential
    • Reduced kidney function
    • fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
    • fluid in the lungs (pleural effusion)
    • Long-term use
    • Psoriasis
      • Taking Otrexup (Methotrexate) with high-dose NSAIDs
        • Taking Otrexup (Methotrexate) to treat cancer
        • Rapidly growing tumors
        Detailed Otrexup (Methotrexate) 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
          • Stem cell transplant
            • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)
            • Rapidly growing tumors
            • History of heart problems
            • Drug interactions
            • Start of therapy with Rituxan (Rituximab)
              Detailed Rituxan (Rituximab) risks & warnings »
              Pregnancy

              Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

              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.

              Alcohol
              MethotrexateRituxan
              • You have to avoid alcohol and being in the sun too long.
              • Don't use alcohol, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), or stay in the sun too long.
              No alcohol related info.
              Kidneys and liver
              MethotrexateRituxan
              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
              MethotrexateRituxan
              • Recommended as first line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
              • Available as a generic medication. Comes as a tablet, an injection that you give yourself weekly, and as an infusion that you get in your doctor's office or at an infusion center.
              • If you accidentally take too much, there's an antidote to help your body recover.
              • 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
              MethotrexateRituxan
              • You have to be on birth control for at least 2 to 3 months after you finish Otrexup (Methotrexate) since it can cause birth defects.
              • You have to avoid alcohol and being in the sun too long.
              • You'll have to get blood tests done if you're taking this long-term because it can cause harmful side effects.
              • 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
              MethotrexateRituxan
              • Don't use alcohol, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), or stay in the sun too long.
              • Use birth control and avoid pregnancy for at least 2 months (for women) and 3 months (for men) after you finish Otrexup (Methotrexate).
              • Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated while taking this.
              • Take the medication exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you're confused.
              • 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 MethotrexateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              Have you used Otrexup (Methotrexate)?
              Worth itNot sureNot worth it
              More about RituxanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              Have you used Rituxan (Rituximab)?
              Worth itNot sureNot worth it