Drug Class: Biologics (B-cell inhibitor)
 Brand Names:  Benlysta


IV infusion: Based on body weight. Three IV infusions 2 weeks apart, and then every 4 weeks.

Injection: 200 mg once weekly.

May be combined with corticosteroids and/or DMARDs.

Potential Side Effects

Depression; infusion reaction during or shortly after treatment (including blood pressure changes, chest pain, difficulty breathing and hives); nausea; vomiting.

Special Instructions

Women of childbearing age should use effective contraception during treatment.

IV Infusion is given at a doctor’s office.

Be Aware

All biologics suppress the immune system and may increase your risk of infections. Tell your doctor if you have an active infection. Do not start treatment if you have a serious or recurrent infection (such as pneumonia). You should be tested for tuberculosis before starting this medication. Do not get a live vaccine when taking biologics.

Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or other mood changes. Do not use this drug with IV cyclophosphamide. This drug may be less effective in African Americans.

LAST UPDATED: 09/05/2017

The Arthritis Today Drug Guide is meant for education – not self-medicating. Arthritis Today, the Arthritis Foundation and the Drug Guide Medical Review Panel do not endorse any products mentioned in this guide. While we endeavor to keep the information up to date, we make no representations or warranties about the completeness of the information provided.