Benlysta and Breastfeeding

No research has been done to see if Benlysta (belimumab) would pass through human breast milk. However, the medication is known to suppress the immune system, potentially to a dangerous extent, and this could pose a risk to a nursing child. According to the manufacturer's recommendations for Benlysta, breastfeeding women should not use this drug.

Is Using Benlysta While Breastfeeding Safe?

Benlysta® (belimumab) is a prescription "biologic" product used in people who have lupus. It is given via an injection into the vein (this is also called an intravenous or IV injection). At this time, it is unknown if Benlysta passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that women not receive Benlysta while breastfeeding.
 

More Information on Breastfeeding and Benlysta

At this time, no studies have been done to see if Benlysta passes through breast milk in humans. Benlysta is a synthetic (manufactured) version of a type of human antibody (a type of protein made by the immune system). Natural antibodies normally pass through breast milk, but usually only in small amounts. Also, the absorption of antibodies from the digestive tract is usually low -- this is why the drug cannot be taken by mouth.
 
However, Benlysta is associated with potentially serious side effects, including dangerous suppression of the immune system. Until more information is known about Benlysta and breastfeeding, including the possible effects on nursing infants, all risks cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it may be safest to avoid breastfeeding while using this medication.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Benlysta use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
 
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