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What Is Belatacept Used For?

A healthcare provider may prescribe belatacept to an adult age 18 or older following a kidney transplant. Belatacept is used for preventing transplant rejection and works by decreasing the activity of the immune system. Without weakening the immune system, the body would recognize that the new kidney is not a natural part of the body and would try to attack it.

An Overview of Uses for Belatacept

Belatacept (NULOJIX®) is a prescription medication approved to prevent transplant rejection in people who receive a kidney transplant. It is only used in people who are immune to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Belatacept is always used in combination with other medications, specifically mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept®), basiliximab (Simulect®), and corticosteroids (such as prednisone).
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure used to place a healthy kidney, from a kidney donor, into someone who has kidney failure, or end-stage kidney disease. Because only one kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys, the donated kidney can come from a living donor or a cadaver donor (someone who has recently died).
People who receive a kidney transplant will need to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of their lives to prevent transplant rejection. Transplant rejection occurs when the immune system tries to get rid of the transplanted organ because it recognizes that it is not a natural part of the body. Preventing transplant rejection is important because transplant rejection can cause the transplanted organ to fail.
Belatacept is an anti-rejection medication. It is only used in people who have demonstrated immunity against a virus known as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus that causes mononucleosis ("mono"). People become immune to this virus after they have been exposed to it. Therefore, your healthcare provider will give you a blood test to make sure you have been exposed to EBV before you are given belatacept.

Belatacept Drug Information

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