1Maryam Poursadeghfard, 1Mozhgan Sattar, 1Mahnaz Bayat

1Clinical Neurology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Mood disorders are the most concurrent problems in multiple sclerosis (MS) that have a great influence on the quality of life of these patients.


Disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) could have some positive or negative psychological effects. Rituximab is a drug commonly used as DMD in MS and its effects on mood have not been fully elucidated.


In this study, we evaluated the effect of rituximab on mood in MS patients.

Material(s) and Method(s):

In this prospective study, all patients who were going to receives the first dose of rituximab from January 2019 to April 2020 in Fars province, south of Iran were enrolled. HADS questionnaires were filled out before treatment, 3 months after the first course, and 1 month after the second course (7 months later). Data entry and analysis were done using SPSS version 22.


From 108 patients who filled out the questionnaire, 70 patients had inclusion criteria. Mean differences of the HADS scale for depression were 0.54 (CI: -0.24- 1.33; p=0.17) after the first and 0.73 (CI; -0.49-1.55; p=0.30) after the second course of rituximab regarding the base scale which were not significant. For the anxiety, the mean scale at baseline was 6.6 which significantly decreased to 5.6 (p-value= 0.039) after the first and 5.3 (p-value=0.005) after the second course.


According to this study, rituximab could have positive effects on both anxiety (statistically and clinically) and depression (clinically) in M.S patients. As a result of our data, only one dose of rituximab could improve significantly the anxiety of these patients.