Benlysta (Belimumab) is a biologic medicine that is used to treat lupus. It works by suppressing part of the body’s immune system. Benlysta inhibits a type of signalling protein called a cytokine that works to activate a type of white blood cell called the B-cell.
Benlysta is given as an intravenous infusion (IV) by a trained nurse in a clinic.
Patients start by receiving an infusion on week 0, then week 2, and then every 4 weeks. Each infusion takes about 60 minutes.
Although some patients can feel better soon after receiving the medication, in others it can take longer. For some patients, it can take up to 3 or 4 months to start feeling the effects of Benlysta.
Important Tests and Risks
Benlysta can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections. People taking this medicine should call their doctor they have a fever, think they have an infection, or have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.
It is important for patients to coordinate with their doctor to stop treatment before any surgery. Benlysta can be re-started once things have healed and there’s no sign of infection.
Patients should discuss all vaccinations with their doctor because some are not advisable to get while taking this medication.
Drug Identification Number (DIN): 02370050 (IV), 02370069 (IV)