Belatacept Injection : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Taking belatacept injection may increase your risk of developing a post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD, a serious condition with rapid growth of certain white blood cells, which can become a type of cancer). The risk of developing PTLD is higher if you have not been exposed to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, a virus that causes mononucleosis or ” mono ”), or if you have cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection or have received other treatments that reduce amounts of T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) in your blood. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to verify these conditions before starting treatment with this medicine. If you have not been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus, your doctor will probably not give you belatacept injection. If you experience any of the following symptoms after receiving belatacept injection, call your doctor immediately: confusion, difficulty thinking, memory problems, changes in mood or habitual behavior, changes in the way you walk or talking, decreased strength or weakness on one side of your body, or changes in vision.
Taking belatacept injection can also increase the risk of developing cancers, such as skin cancer and serious infections, such as tuberculosis (TB, a bacterial lung infection) and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML, a rare and serious brain infection). If you experience any of the following symptoms after receiving belatacept, call your doctor immediately: a new skin lesion or bump, or a change in the size or color of a mole, fever, sore throat, chills, cough and other signs of infection; night sweats; fatigue that does not go away; weightloss; swollen lymph nodes; flu-like symptoms; pain in the stomach area; vomiting diarrhea; tenderness over the area of the transplanted kidney; frequent or painful urination; blood in the urine; clumsiness; growing weakness; personality changes; or changes in vision and speech.
Belatacept injection should only be given in a medical center under the supervision of a doctor experienced in treating people who have received a kidney transplant and in prescribing drugs that decrease the activity of the immune system.
Belatacept injection can cause rejection of the new liver or death in people who have received liver transplants. This medication should not be given to prevent rejection of liver transplants.
Your doctor or pharmacist will provide you with the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with belatacept injection and each time you get a refill. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving treatment with belatacept.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Belatacept injection is used in combination with other medicines to prevent rejection (attack of a transplanted organ by the immune system of a person receiving the organ) of kidney transplants. Belatacept injection belongs to a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system to prevent it from attacking the transplanted kidney.
How should this medicine be used?
Belatacept injection comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected into a vein for 30 minutes, usually by a doctor or nurse in a hospital or medical facility. It is usually given on the day of the transplant, 5 days after the transplant, at the end of weeks 2 and 4, and then once every 4 weeks.
Your doctor will monitor you carefully. Talk to your doctor about how you feel during your treatment.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving belatacept injection,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to belatacept or any other medications, or any of the ingredients in belatacept injection. Consult your pharmacist or consult the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking belatacept injection, call your doctor.
- If you are going to have surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving belatacept injection.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight, tanning beds, and sunlamps. Belatacept can make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen with a high protection factor (SPF) when you have to be exposed to the sun during your treatment.
- Don’t get vaccinated without talking to your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss an appointment to receive belatacept injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Belatacept injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- excessive tiredness
- pale skin
- fast heart beat
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- shortness of breath
Belatacept injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- difficulty remembering
- change in mood, personality, or behavior
- change in walking or talking
- decreased strength or weakness on one side of body
- change in vision or speech
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.