Before you receive infusions of Benlysta (belimumab), you should know why you are being prescribed this medicine, the health benefits you can expect and side effects to watch out for. Benlysta is used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of the immune disease lupus. It's infused into your vein once or twice a month.
Benlysta is a monoclonal antibody. It blocks the action of a particular protein that occurs in greater amounts than normal in people who have SLE. Research suggests that people who take Benlysta combined with other drugs for SLE may be less likely to have severe flares of their disease than people who take the other drugs alone. Benlysta may not work as well in black people as in people of other races.
Although it's helpful in treating SLE, Benlysta may also cause serious or even deadly side effects in some people. Your doctor will monitor you closely to detect any problems, but you need to call your doctor at the first sign of the following symptoms:
- signs of infection: fever, chills, frequent and/or painful urination, bloody diarrhea, coughing up mucus
- signs of heart problems: chest pain, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, dizziness
- mental health problems: suicidal thoughts or behavior, trouble sleeping, new or worse anxiety, new or worse depression, impulsive behavior, thoughts of hurting others, or other changes in your mood or behavior
Before you start taking Benlysta and during treatment, make sure your doctor is aware of your medical history, any current medical problems you have and all your medications (prescription and over-the-counter) or dietary or herbal supplements.
Before you receive infusions of Benlysta (belimumab), you should
know why you are being prescribed this medicine, the health
benefits you can expect and side effects to watch out for. Benlysta
is used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the... More