FDA And Genentech Warned The Public About Rituxan (Rituximab). FDA and Genentech informed healthcare professionals of important emerging safety information about Rituxan. Two patients died after being treated with ‘Rituxan’ for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). ‘Rituxan’ is approved for the above indication and is prescribed off-label for other serious diseases and conditions such as SLE.
Cause Of Death Was Called PML
The cause of death was a viral infection of the brain called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) that is caused by reactivated JC virus which is present in about 80 percent of adults. Physicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for the development of PML in patients under treatment with ‘Rituxan’.