Medicines are getting better and better to assist in the health and recovery of various health conditions.
An example of this is Benlysta, which helps provide more quality of life for people who suffer from Lupus . See more about the drug and in which cases it can be used:
What is Benlysta?
Benlysta is a biological medication indicated to treat the most severe degrees of the disease known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
It is an intravenous solution, that is, applied to the vein by dripping (infusion). Usually, the full bag with this medicine takes 1 hour to finish.
In specific cases, when patients have already had an adverse reaction to the application, there may be a need to remain under observation after the application, so that possible allergic events are evaluated.
The package insert indicates that, normally, the dose used is 10mg for each kg of body. That is, if the person weighs 70kg, the recommended dose is 700mg. But this should always be evaluated by doctors (as) who accompany the treatment.
This remedy is indicated as adjuvant therapy, that is, a form of treatment in addition to the usual therapy. In the case of SLE, in addition to corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, Benlysta can also be used.
What is Benlysta for?
Benlysta is indicated to treat patients who have moderate and severe degrees of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This type of lupus, if not treated properly, can affect many parts of the body such as the face, neck, arms, legs, trunk, kidneys, lung, heart, feet, hands, knees and elbows.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease, that is, the cells of the immune system (which should protect the organism) attack the organs and tissues of the human body.
This is because there is an excessive production of antibodies, which ends up causing a malfunction of the body as a whole.
In more rare cases, the disease can still cause seizures , anemia , cardiac arrhythmia , nausea, vomiting and the appearance of lumps under the skin, especially in the region of the armpit, neck and groin.
What is the active principle and how does it act?
The active ingredient in Benlysta is a substance known as Belimumab, which belongs to a group known as monoclonal antibodies.
But what are monoclonal antibodies? Calm down, we’ll explain it in parts.
An antibody is a protein that works as a defense mechanism for our body. They are produced to combat harmful external agents, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.
It is possible that they are produced in the laboratory to fight a certain disease. In these cases, they are called a monoclonal antibody, as they react specifically with some protein or molecule, for example.
This is the case with Benlysta’s active ingredient, Belimumab.
Those who have lupus, usually have changes in a group of white blood cells, known as “B cells”, which are responsible for producing antibodies. Because of the disease, antibodies can attack healthy cells (these are known as autoantibodies).
Benlysta’s function is to bind to substances that trigger the production of antibodies and, in the case of people with lupus, to autoantibodies.
What is the frequency of doses?
First of all, it is worth emphasizing that Benlysta must be administered by a health professional who is able to perform this function.
In most situations, this medicine is administered at the following frequency:
- 1st dose: on any date;
- 2nd dose: between 14 and 28 days from the last dose taken (the number of days varies according to the severity of each case);
- 3rd and other doses: every 4 weeks from the last dose taken.
The maximum usage time is 6 months. If there is no improvement by this time, another form of treatment should be tried.
What are the side effects and reactions?
The use of Benlysta can cause several side reactions. The most common and very common ones include diarrhea , nausea, insomnia , migraine , fever, depression , kidney, lung and bacterial infections (such as bronchitis ) and allergic reactions.
In more unusual cases, other side effects can also include swelling of the face, drop in pressure, itching and skin rashes.
Benlysta can still cause an allergic reaction to the infusion. This reaction is more likely to happen on the 1st day of treatment, but it can happen later (extending to the 10th after application)
The symptoms of this condition are swelling of the lip or tongue, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, itching and skin rashes.
In extreme situations, this condition can lead to death. Therefore, if you experience these signs, seek medical help immediately.
What are the contraindications in the package leaflet?
Women with suspected pregnancies, pregnant women or mothers who are breastfeeding should only use the medication as directed and medically monitored.
This medication should also not be used if the patient has a strong allergic reaction (known as anaphylaxis ) after use.
Belimumab is the active ingredient in Benlysta. This substance is a monoclonal antibody, that is, it is produced in the laboratory specifically to fight a disease or condition.
In the package insert, there is no possible adverse effect of weight change, however, it is worth mentioning that each organism may manifest different reactions. In addition to other aspects, such as diet, physical activity and stress , it is possible that during treatment there will be weight changes.
In addition, the drug can cause some adverse reactions such as headache , diarrhea and vomiting, which can influence the change in weight by indirect factors to the medication.
The price of Benlysta varies according to the milligram of the drug:
- Benlysta 120mg, box with 1 vial with powder for solution for intravenous use costs between R $ 848 and R $ 969;
- Benlysta 400mg, box with 1 vial with powder for solution for intravenous use has an average price ranging from R $ 2,806 and R $ 3,186 *.
* Average prices consulted in December 2019. Prices may change.
Does ANVISA approve Benlysta?
Yes. The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) allows the sale of Benlysta.
The authorization was granted in November 2012 and is valid for 10 years (that is, until the same month in 2022).
Benlysta by SUS: how can you do it?
No. The Unified Health System (SUS) does not provide this medication.
If the patient is unable to afford this medication, a lawsuit can be filed.
For this, it is necessary the assistance of a lawyer and some documents such as the medical prescription that prove the need for the drug and a budget with the price of 3 pharmacies or drugstores.
At that time, you can count on the Consultancy of Consultations Remedies.
Just enter that link , fill out the form with your data and, in a few hours, we will send a personalized quote for your case.
Benlysta is a drug indicated for the treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In general, the results with the use of medication indicate an improvement in the patient’s quality of life.
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