Belimumab Injection : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Belimumab is used with other medications to treat certain types of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus; an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy parts of the body such as joints, skin, blood vessels, and organs) in adults and children 5 years of age. age and older. Belimumab belongs to a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking the activity of a certain protein in people with SLE. Belimumab may not work as well to treat African Americans who have SLE.
How should this medicine be used?
Belimumab comes as a powder to mix into a solution to be injected intravenously (into a vein) in adults and children 5 years of age and older. Belimumab also comes as a solution (liquid) in an autoinjector or a pre-filled syringe to be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) in adults. When administered intravenously, it is usually administered by a doctor or nurse for at least one hour once every 2 weeks for the first three doses, and then once every 4 weeks. Your doctor will decide how often you should receive belimumab intravenously based on your body’s response to this medicine. When administered subcutaneously, it is generally administered once a week, preferably on the same day of each week.
You will receive your first subcutaneous dose of belimumab injection in your doctor’s office. If you are going to inject the belimumab injection subcutaneously at home, or if a friend or family member injects the medication, your doctor will show you or the person who will inject the medication how to inject it. You and the person who will be injecting the medicine should also read the written instructions for use that come with the medicine.
Remove the autoinjector or pre-filled syringe from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature 30 minutes before you are ready to inject the belimumab injection. Do not try to heat the medication by heating it in a microwave, placing it in warm water, or using any other method. The solution should be clear to opalescent and colorless to pale yellow. Call your pharmacist if there is a problem with the package or syringe and do not inject the medication.
The belimumab injection may be injected into the front of the thighs or anywhere in the stomach except the navel (belly button) and the area 2 inches around it. Do not inject the medication into sensitive, bruised, red, hard or not intact skin. Choose a different place each time you inject the medicine.
Belimumab can cause serious reactions during and after receiving the medicine. You will be closely watched by a doctor or nurse during the infusion and after the infusion to make sure you do not have a serious reaction to the medicine. You may be given other medicines to treat or help prevent reactions to belimumab. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms that can occur during an IV infusion or subcutaneous injection or for up to a week after receiving the medicine: rash; itching; urticaria; swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, throat, tongue, or lips; difficulty breathing or swallowing; wheezing or shortness of breath; dizziness flushing anxiety; Fainting; headache; nausea; fever; cold; seizures muscle aches; and slow heartbeat.
Belimumab helps control lupus but does not cure it. Your doctor will monitor you carefully to see how well belimumab works for you. It may take some time before you feel the full benefit of belimumab. It is important to tell your doctor how you feel during your treatment.
Your doctor or pharmacist will provide you with the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you start treatment with belimumab 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.
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 using belimumab,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to belimumab, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in belimumab 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. Be sure to mention any of the following: intravenous cyclophosphamide; and monoclonal antibodies or other biological drugs. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have an infection or if you have or have ever had a recurring infection, depression or thoughts of harming or killing yourself, or cancer.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether taking belimumab during pregnancy can harm your unborn baby. If you choose to avoid pregnancy, you must use an effective method of contraception during your treatment with belimumab and for 4 months after your final dose. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you become pregnant during your treatment with belimumab, call your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- If you are going to have surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using belimumab.
- Don’t get vaccinated without talking to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have received a vaccine in the past 30 days.
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 a belimumab infusion, call your doctor as soon as possible.
If you forget your subcutaneous dose of belimumab injection, inject the missed dose as soon as you remember. Then inject your next dose at the regularly scheduled time or continue the weekly dose based on the new day injected. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed one. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you need help deciding when to inject belimumab injection.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Belimumab may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- pain in the arms or legs
- runny nose
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the HOW section, call your doctor immediately:
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, and/or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- chest discomfort or pain
- fever, sore throat, chills, cough, and other signs of infection
- thinking of harming or killing yourself or others, or planning or trying to do so
- new or worsening depression or anxiety
- unusual changes in your behavior or mood
- acting on dangerous impulses
- frequent, painful, or difficult urination
- cloudy or strong smelling urine
- upper back or side pain
- bloody diarrhea
- coughing up mucus
- vision changes
- memory loss
- difficulty talking or walking
- dizziness or loss of balance
Belimumab may increase your risk of certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that people who received belimumab were more likely to die from various causes than those who did not take belimumab. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving this medication.
Belimumab may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using 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).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the package it came in, away from light, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Do not shake auto-injectors or pre-filled syringes containing belimumab. Store belimumab injection in the refrigerator; do not freeze. Avoid exposure to heat. Syringes can be stored outside of the refrigerator (up to 30 ° C) for up to 12 hours if protected from sunlight. Do not use the syringes and do not put them back in the refrigerator if they have not been refrigerated for more than 12 hours. Throw away any medicine that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medicine.
It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking weekly pills and those used for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in a special way to ensure that pets, children and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department for information on return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about belimumab injection.
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.