Compare methotrexate vs. Rituxan

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

Otrexup (methotrexate)

Prescription only

Rituxan (Rituximab)

Prescription only
Reduces inflammation and cell replication.

Otrexup (methotrexate) is the first-choice treatment for many types of cancer and arthritis, but it has many side effects.

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.

Upsides
  • Otrexup (methotrexate) is available as an affordable generic form.
  • Otrexup (methotrexate) comes as a tablet, an injection that you give yourself, or an infusion that you get in the doctor's office or infusion center.
  • 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
  • You may need frequent blood tests for monitoring when taking Otrexup (methotrexate).
  • Otrexup (methotrexate) can cause serious birth defects so women should avoid getting pregnant for at least 6 month and men 3 months after taking it.
  • While on Otrexup (methotrexate), you should avoid alcohol and staying out in the sun for too long.
  • 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).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Liquid
  • Infusion (IV)
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Otrexup (methotrexate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
4possible side effects
  • Any infection
    62%
  • Infusion reaction
    12%
  • Any serious infection
    11%
  • Cardiac side effect
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Bone marrow suppression
  • Worsening side-effects
    • Reduced kidney function
    • fluid in the abdomen
    • fluid in the lungs
  • Use of NSAIDs
    • NSAIDS
    • High dose of methotrexate
  • Liver problems
    • Long-term use
    • Psoriasis
  • Lung problems
  • Diarrhea and mouth sores
    • Taking Otrexup (methotrexate) with high-dose NSAIDs
  • Tumor lysis syndrome
    • Rapidly growing tumors
  • Skin reactions
  • Infections
  • White blood cell cancer
  • Skin and bone tissue deterioration
    • Radiotherapy
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Nervous system effects
    • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with immunosuppressant drugs (if using for RA)
    • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with chemotherapy (if using for NHL or CLL
    • Stem cell transplant
  • Skin and mouth reactions
  • Kidney injury
    • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)
    • Rapidly growing tumors
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Drug interactions
  • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Start of therapy with Rituxan (Rituximab)
  • Blood problems
See more detailed risks and warnings