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Learn more about living with lupus and treatment with BENLYSTA

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When it comes to treating lupus, it helps to have a clear understanding of what you're dealing with. Refer back to this page for definitions of terms used throughout this website.


Proteins inside the body that are part of the immune system. Antibodies attach themselves to foreign invaders (such as bacteria, viruses, etc.) to keep them from causing disease.

Any substance the body recognizes as a foreign invader.

While originally developed to treat malaria, these drugs are used to treat lupus.

Antibodies that work against your body. They are produced by autoreactive B cells.

Any substance produced by the body that the immune system in someone with lupus recognizes as being foreign.

Cells that react against the body. These are the cells responsible for creating autoantibodies.

Also called B lymphocytes, these are cells in the body that fight foreign invaders by creating antibodies.

The active ingredient in BENLYSTA, this protein helps to reduce abnormal immune system activity which helps to reduce the signs and symptoms of lupus.

A treatment derived from living tissues or cells.

A specific protein necessary for the survival of B cells. Too much BLyS, however, allows the autoreactive B cells to build up in the body.

A class of medications that prevent BLyS proteins from stimulating the growth of autoreactive B cells.

The abbreviation for British Isles Lupus Assessment Group index. This index measures lupus disease activity in 8 organs/body systems.

A carefully planned investigation of the effects of a particular medicine or medicines on humans. The usual goal of a clinical trial is to evaluate a drug's effectiveness as well as its safety profile.

These medicines, often simply called steroids, are used to reduce inflammation.

A drug used in the treatment of cancer that is sometimes also used to treat lupus.

The number and severity of the signs and symptoms of a disease.

The Food and Drug Administration, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Among many other responsibilities, the FDA handles the approval, regulation, and supervision of prescription drugs.

A complex system of tissues, organs, and processes that work to protect the body from harmful foreign invaders.

Drugs that are used to suppress immune system activity.

A solution of medication injected into a vein.

A chronic disorder in which the immune system attacks the body; this can lead to inflammation. Also see systemic lupus erythematosus.

Proteins produced in laboratories that copy the disease-fighting response of your natural antibodies to a specific antigen.

Drugs that are used to reduce pain and inflammation.

Short for "Physician's Global Assessment." This is a general assessment of a patient's overall well-being, which the physician rates on a scale from "0" (no disease activity) to "3" (severe disease activity).

A physician who specializes in disorders that cause pain, soreness, or stiffness in muscles or joints. These disorders include lupus and arthritis.

A scale that includes 24 signs and symptoms that may be experienced with lupus. SELENA stands for "Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment" and SLEDAI, for "Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index."

The established, accepted course of treatment for a disease.

A disease that results from abnormal activity in your immune system.

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BENLYSTA is a prescription medication used to treat adults with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) who are receiving other lupus medicines.

It is not known if BENLYSTA is safe and effective in people with severe active lupus nephritis or severe active central nervous system lupus, and it has not been studied in combination with other biologics or intravenous cyclophosphamide. Use of BENLYSTA is not recommended in these situations.

Important Safety Information

The most important information to know about BENLYSTA:

BENLYSTA can cause serious side effects. Some of these side effects may cause death. It is not known if BENLYSTA causes these serious side effects.

Important Safety Information

The most important information to know about BENLYSTA:

BENLYSTA can cause serious side effects. Some of these side effects may cause death. It is not known if BENLYSTA causes these serious side effects.

Tell your healthcare professional right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while receiving BENLYSTA

Do not receive BENLYSTA if you are allergic to belimumab or to any of the ingredients in BENLYSTA.

Before receiving BENLYSTA also discuss with your healthcare professional if you:

Women of childbearing age should use adequate birth control measures while taking BENLYSTA and for at least four months after their final treatment with BENLYSTA.

Remember to tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Possible side effects of BENLYSTA

The most common side effects of BENLYSTA include:

Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of BENLYSTA. For more information, ask your healthcare professional.

Other Important Information

In 2 of 3 studies, fewer blacks/African Americans who received BENLYSTA responded to treatment compared to blacks/African Americans who did not receive BENLYSTA. Therefore, caution should be used when considering treatment with BENLYSTA in blacks/African Americans. It is important to discuss with your healthcare professional whether BENLYSTA is right for you. A clinical trial is ongoing to study BENLYSTA specifically in blacks/African Americans with lupus.

For more information, call the BENLYSTA® Gateway at 1-877-4-BENLYSTA (1-877-423-6597)
Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.