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Does Benlysta Help With Fatigue

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Unrelated Reasons For Fatigue

Lupus Q& A 19: Tight Muscles, Flares, Medications, and Fatigue

Dr. Berman said there are many factors that contribute to fatigue. She encouraged the group to think about other medical issues that could contribute to fatigue, as well as social and emotional issues since some of those may be modifiable. Unfortunately, among doctors who do not specialize in lupus, there may be a tendency to blame everything on lupus itself. Dr. Berman said that can be dangerous, and described some other conditions to speak to your doctor about.

Medications can cause or contribute to fatigue as well. Dr. Berman stressed that every person is different and therefore will experience medications differently. If you are doing well on your current medications, then there is no reason to believe you will not do well in the future. Below is a list of medications that may contribute to fatigue, however.

Why Would My Doctor Recommend Benlysta Infusions Instead Of Subcutaneous Injections

Benlysta can be given in two ways: as an intravenous infusion that goes into your vein, or as a subcutaneous injection that goes under your skin. Both treat your lupus. However, your doctor may recommend one over the other based on your specific situation.

There may be pros and cons to each option, depending on whats important to you. IV infusions of Benlysta must be given in a hospital or in your doctors office. However, after your first few doses, you only need to get a dose of Benlysta every 4 weeks. In comparison, people taking the subcutaneous injection need to inject it once a week.

If you receive Benlysta by IV infusion, youre only at risk for an infusion reaction once a month. However, if you receive Benlysta by subcutaneous injection, you may be at risk for injection reactions each week.

Talk with your doctor about whether IV infusions or subcutaneous injections of Benlysta are best for you. They can discuss the benefits and risks of each with you.

Drug Forms And Strengths

Benlysta comes in these two forms:

  • A powder thats mixed with liquid to form a solution. This form is given as an intravenous infusion into a vein in the arm. . Benlysta powder comes in vials containing either 120 milligrams or 400 mg of the drug.
  • A solution inside prefilled syringes and autoinjectors. This form is given as a subcutaneous injection . The syringe or autoinjector contains 200 mg of the drug.

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When To Have Your Dose

If youre taking Benlysta by IV infusion, youll likely get a dose every 2 weeks for the first three doses of your treatment. After that, youll only need to get one dose every 4 weeks.

If youre receiving a subcutaneous injection of the drug, youll get one dose every week. You should inject your dose on the same day each week. This is so you always have about the same amount of medication in your body.

To help make sure you dont miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Before Taking This Medicine

First New Lupus Drug in 50 Years: Benlysta Gains FDA Approval

You should not use Benlysta if you are allergic to belimumab.

To make sure Benlysta is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an active or chronic infection

  • depression or mental illness

  • if you recently received a vaccine or

  • if you are using cyclophosphamide, biologic medicines, or other monoclonal antibody medicines.

Belimumab may increase your risk of certain cancers by changing the way your immune system works. Ask your doctor about your individual risk.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while using Benlysta. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Belimumab may affect the immune system of your baby if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using Benlysta and for at least 4 months after your last dose. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

Belimumab may affect your baby’s immune system, but having SLE during pregnancy may cause complications such as worsened lupus, eclampsia , premature birth, miscarriage, or growth problems in the unborn baby. SLE in the mother may also cause lupus or heart problems to develop in the newborn. The benefit of treating SLE may outweigh any risks to the baby.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using Benlysta. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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Benlysta For Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Benlysta is FDA-approved to treat a type of lupus called systemic lupus erythematosus . Benlysta is used for SLE that is active and autoantibody positive.

If you have active lupus, it means youre having symptoms of the disease. Having lupus thats autoantibody positive means antibodies activated by your immune system attack your body. Benlysta is approved for use in people who are already taking standard treatments for their lupus, such as a steroid like prednisone.

With lupus, your immune system attacks your body. It can cause swelling in your organs and other tissues. Symptoms of lupus include:

  • confusion
  • problems with organs, such as your kidneys not working properly

For this condition, Benlysta is approved for use in adults and in children ages 5 years and older.

Effectiveness for SLE

Clinical studies have shown that Benlysta is an effective medication for treating lupus. Benlysta was studied using the SLE Responder Index . This assessment uses three other tests to determine how severe someones lupus symptoms are.

Specifically, clinical studies for Benlysta studied how many people had an SRI-4. This means that people had:

In clinical studies, the two forms of Benlysta were studied in adults. At the end of the 1-year studies:

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What Happens With Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that it affects your immune system. For more information about SLE and lupus nephritis, see the Benlysta for lupus section above.

If you have active lupus, it means youre having symptoms of the disease.

Having lupus thats autoantibody positive means antibodies activated by your immune system attack your body.

Benlysta is approved for use in people who are already taking standard treatments for their lupus, such as a steroid like prednisone.

Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

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Along with its needed effects, belimumab may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking belimumab:

More common

  • Bladder pain
  • bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, skin discoloration, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  • bloody or cloudy urine

Applies to belimumab: intravenous powder for injection, subcutaneous solution

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Prioritize Activities When Living With Lupus

Itâs easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do. Keeping an activity schedule for day-to-day basics can be a way to help organize your time. This way, you can plan for the things you need to do and make sure you have enough time to rest in between.

When planning your schedule, do the things that are most strenuous when you feel your best. And try to break up bigger projects into smaller tasks. But try to be flexible. If you donât have enough energy one day, donât force yourself to do everything on your list. Reschedule those tasks instead.

âEvery morning, I think about my day and prioritize the most important things I need to do,â says Utterback. âThen I decide what I can realistically handle. Usually itâs just three or four tasks. But I do what I can each day and try not to get upset with myself if I canât get everything done.â

How Is Belimumab Given

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Belimumab is given as an infusion into a vein, usually every 2 to 4 weeks. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. The medicine must be given slowly, and the infusion can take about 1 hour to complete.

In adults, belimumab may also be injected under the skin, usually once weekly on the same day each week. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself. Do not inject belimumab into skin that is bruised, tender, red, or hard.

If you give injections at home, read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don’t understand all instructions.

Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects or an allergic reaction. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Store the prefilled syringe or injection pen in its original packaging in the refrigerator. Do not freeze or expose to light or high heat. Do not shake the medicine.

Each prefilled syringe or injection pen is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

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What Are Immunosuppressive Medications

Immunosuppressives are medications that help suppress the immune system. Many were originally used in patients who received organ transplants to help prevent their bodies from rejecting the transplanted organ. However, these drugs are now also used for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. In people with lupus, the immune system mistakenly attacks the bodys own tissues. Most immunosuppressives work to downregulate this attack by interfering with the synthesis of DNA, the material in your cells that contains the blueprints for all of your genetic information. In doing this, these medications prevent the cells of your immune system from dividing. When cells cannot divide correctly, they will eventually die. The immunosuppressives prescribed most commonly for the treatment of lupus are azathioprine , mycophenolate , and cyclosporine .

Because immunosuppressive drugs put down the immune system, people taking them are at an increased risk for infection. Try to stay away from people who have colds or other illnesses, and make sure to wash your hands regularly and maintain good personal hygiene. If you are also taking steroid medications, you may not realize that you are ill because the steroid may suppress your fever symptoms. Contact your doctor immediately at the first sign of any infection or illness.

Side Effects In Children

Lupus Patients on Baseline Steroids Combined with Benlysta ...

The form of Benlysta given by intravenous infusion is approved for use in children ages 5 years and older who have active SLE. In clinical trials, children taking Benlysta experienced the same side effects as adults taking the drug .

The form of the drug given by subcutaneous injection isnt approved for use in children. Therefore, children wont experience injection site reactions, which are associated with the under-the-skin injection. However, they may still experience infusion reactions from receiving the drug through IV infusion.

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How Is Benlysta Given

Benlysta is given as an infusion into a vein, usually every 2 to 4 weeks. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. The medicine must be given slowly, and the infusion can take about 1 hour to complete.

In adults, Benlysta may also be injected under the skin, usually once weekly on the same day each week. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself. Do not inject this medicine into skin that is bruised, tender, red, or hard.

If you give injections at home, read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don’t understand all instructions.

Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects or an allergic reaction. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Store the prefilled syringe or injection pen in its original packaging in the refrigerator. Do not freeze or expose to light or high heat. Do not shake the medicine.

Take the syringe or injection pen out of the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature for 30 minutes before injecting your dose. Do not use if the medicine has been left at room temperature longer than 12 hours. Do not put it back into the refrigerator. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Lupus Fatigue: Causes Treatment And Managing Expectations

The unrelenting exhaustion of lupus fatigue affects up to 80% of those living with SLE. Read on to learn what the medical community has to say about its causes, symptoms and some of the best ways to cope with this extremely common and sometimes debilitating condition.

Introduction

Fatigue is more than just a desire for a shot of espresso in the morning or the need to hit the sack a little early to make up for a late night out. Fatigue can be a physically and emotionally debilitating conundrum one that is not easy to solve and it goes beyond curling up on the couch with a throw blanket and a good movie waiting for of sleep to take its course. Fatigue can mean that sleep itself is illusive.

In their article Fatigue in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, researchers Grace Ahn and Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman note that approximately 53-80% of individuals with SLE report experiencing fatigue as one of their main symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, fatigue is the feeling of unrelenting exhaustion that is profound and isnt relieved by rest. It can grossly affect your ability to function day-to-day and experience a good quality of life. Fatigue is a loss of energy you may fear youll never recoup. Therefore, fatigue is not only physically draining, but can be emotionally devastating as well.

What are the causes and symptoms of lupus fatigue?

What does the research say about managing lupus fatigue?

Combating and Coping with Fatigue

In Conclusion

References

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If I Have Lupus Will I Pass It On To My Children

There can be a genetic factor to lupus. Your risk of having lupus increases if you have other family members with the condition. A mother with lupus can pass it on to her child. However, this doesnt always happen, nor does it happen often. Some women with lupus deliver a baby with the condition, while others do not. If you have a family history of lupus or have lupus yourself and are thinking about getting pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider.

What Is The Lupus Rash

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A skin rash is one common symptom of lupus. Rashes from lupus are often from prolonged sun exposure, and usually last days to weeks. You can have a rash on your face, hands or wrists. When you have a rash on your face, it typically extends across the bridge of your nose and onto each of your cheeks. This is often referred to as a butterfly rash because of the shape across your face.

Skin rashes can be uncomfortable and itchy. These rashes can sometimes fade after a short period of time. However, some rashes and sores on your skin can be permanent.

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What Is Lupus Nephritis

Lupus nephritis is a complication of lupus that causes the immune system to attack and inflame your kidneys. This inflammation can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly.

Lupus nephritis symptoms may not be apparent in the early stages. Its important to let your doctor know of any lupus nephritis symptoms you may experience after being diagnosed with lupus.

Common symptoms of lupus nephritis include:

  • Sudden and unexplained swelling, especially in the extremities or the eyes
  • Blood in the urine
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Foamy or frothy urine

This list is not all-inclusive, and BENLYSTA may not help with all of these symptoms. Consult your doctor to see if BENLYSTA is right for you.

Get Enough Rest To Prevent Fatigue

Most people do best with at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have lupus you may need even more sleep.

âItâs important to develop good sleeping habits,â says Jolly. âIt can really make the difference in getting a good nightâs sleep

  • Take time to relax before bedtime. A warm shower or bath can help.
  • Avoid alcohol and food or drinks that contain caffeine after dinnertime.
  • Donât watch TV right before bedtime because it can be distracting. Read a book instead.

If there are times when you know you wonât get a full nightâs sleep, you may need to plan to make it up the next day.

âI canât go out on a work night like other people my age. If I donât get at least eight hours of sleep, Iâm useless the next day,â says Brown. âSo if thereâs something I want to do in the evening, I have to plan for it by setting aside time to sleep the next day.â

Even with a full nightâs sleep you may need to take several rest periods throughout your day. âSome people may need to plan short periods of rest after each activity,â says Jolly. âThis gives your body time to catch up and can make a big difference in how you feel.â

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