The evolving role of rituximab in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris: a comprehensive state-of-the-art review

Khalaf Kridin, A. Razzaque Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a life-threatening autoimmune mucocutaneous blistering disease. Systemic corticosteroids (CS), while life-saving, have several serious side effects. To improve treatment and prognosis, recently rituximab (RTX), a chimeric monoclonal antibody against CD20 molecule on B cells, has become popular. This Expert Opinion discusses clinical and scientifically relevant aspects of RTX treating PV. Area Covered: This presentation describes the mechanism of action, clinical efficacy, safety, adverse events, protocols used, and clinical outcomes. Concerns for infection, reactivation of latent or previous infections, and high relapse rate are discussed. Expert opinion: Use of RTX in PV is still a work in progress. There are many unanswered questions. FDA did not provide a protocol or guidelines. Whenever RTX is used, systemic corticosteroids are simultaneously used, albeit for a shorter duration and lower dose. Used in these doses for these durations they can cause immunosuppression. Would it be more appropriate if instead of ‘First Line Therapy’ it would be more advisable to use the term ‘First Adjunctive Immunosuppressive Agent’?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-454
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Pemphigus vulgaris
  • adverse events
  • b cell depletion therapy
  • combination with intravenous immunoglobulin
  • desmoglein autoantibodies
  • long-term remissions
  • relapse rates
  • remission rates
  • rituximab


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