Belimumab is administered intravenously (by IV). Each dosage is given slowly over a 60-minute period. Because belimumab poses the risk of serious side effects, you may need to stop using it if certain reactions occur during treatment. To reduce your risk of reactions, you will likely be given certain medications before each dose.
The dose of belimumab (Benlysta®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your weight
- How well you tolerate the medication.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The standard dosage of belimumab for treating systemic lupus erythematosus is 10 mg per kg (about 4.5 mg per pound) every two weeks for the first three doses and then once a month.
People who experience certain potentially serious belimumab side effects may need to stop using the medicine. Belimumab should not be restarted if the side effect was severe or life-threatening. Otherwise, the medicine may be restarted at the usual dose once the side effect improves.
Belimumab can cause allergic reactions and similar-appearing "infusion reactions." Your healthcare provider may give you medications beforehand to help reduce the risk of such problems.
Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with belimumab include the following:
- This medication is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion, which is a slow injection into the vein. It is usually given every two weeks for the first three doses and then once a month.
- The injections are given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting.
- Each belimumab dose will be given slowly over a 60-minute period. You may be given medications beforehand to help reduce the chance of allergic reactions. These "premedications" may add to the total time you will need to receive your dosage.
- For this drug to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Belimumab will not work as well if you miss doses.
- If you are unsure about anything related to dosing with belimumab, please talk with your healthcare provider, nurse, or pharmacist.