Like all medications, taking belimumab carries some risk of side effects, which must be balanced with the potential benefits. When monitored properly the vast majority of side effects are rare, most improve over time and are reversible.
Some people experience headaches, nausea, or diarrhea with belimumab. If any of these symptoms become severe, please speak with your healthcare provider.
Belimumab can rarely cause an allergic reaction during the infusion (flushing, itching, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, etc.). A healthcare professional will monitor for this reaction during the infusion and give you medication prior to the infusion to help prevent the reaction.
Depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and self-injury have been very rarely reported in patients with SLE receiving belimumab. Discuss these risks with your healthcare provider prior to starting belimumab. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience worsening depression or thoughts of suicide while taking belimumab.