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Belimumab (be LIM yoo mab)

Brand Names: U.S.

Benlysta

Brand Names: Canada

Benlysta

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat lupus.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to belimumab or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have kidney problems or nervous system problems caused by lupus.
  • If you are taking cyclophosphamide.
  • If you are taking or will be taking another drug like this one.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Deaths happened more in people taking this drug than in people not taking this drug in trials. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may add to your chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with your doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly allergic side effects have rarely happened. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • This drug may raise the chance of very bad and sometimes deadly infections. Talk with the doctor.
  • Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccines.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Slow heartbeat.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Cold sweats.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Belly pain.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sore throat.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • It is given as a shot into a vein over a period of time.
  • Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may be given before this drug to lower fever and chills.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

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