What is this medication?

BELIMUMAB (be LIM ue mab) is a monoclonal antibody. It is used to treat active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or active lupus nephritis (lupus-related kidney inflammation). This drug is used with standard therapy for these conditions. It is not a cure.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Benlysta, Benlysta SC

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

How should I use this medication?

This drug is injected into a vein or injected under the skin. Injections into a vein are given by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic setting. Injections under the skin may be given at home. If you get this drug at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give it under the skin. Use exactly as directed. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Keep taking it unless your health care provider tells you to stop.

This drug comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this drug. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider if you have questions.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or health care provider to get one.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. If you are getting this drug in a hospital or clinic, a special MedGuide will be given to you before each treatment. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your health care provider about the use of this drug in children. While it be prescribed for children as young as 5 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This drug is used once a week if injected under the skin. If you miss your dose, inject a dose as soon as you remember. Then, inject your next dose at your regularly scheduled time or continue weekly dosing based on the new day injected. Call your health care provider if you are not sure what to do. Do not use 2 doses on the same day to make up for a missed dose.

If you are to be given an injection into the vein, keep appointments for follow-up doses. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your health care provider if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medicines:

This medicine may also interact with the following medicines:

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care provider if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

This drug may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your health care provider for advice if you get a fever, chills, or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

In some patients, this drug may cause a serious brain infection that may cause death. If you have any problems seeing, thinking, speaking, walking, or standing, tell your doctor right away. If you cannot reach your health care provider, urgently seek other source of medical care.

Talk to your health care provider about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancer if you take this drug.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

If injected into the vein, this drug will be given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

Storage for syringes and auto injectors stored at home:

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Keep this medicine in the original container. Protect from light. Do not freeze. Do not shake. Do not use this medicine and do not place it back in the refrigerator if left out at room temperature for more than 12 hours. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2022 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy