Benlysta for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Of all the different types of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common. It's sometimes called SLE, or just lupus. The word "systemic" means that the disease can involve many parts of the body, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.
If you have been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, your healthcare provider may recommend an injected medication called Benlysta® (belimumab). This drug is meant to be used in combination with other standard lupus treatments.
How effective is Benlysta? Studies suggest that the benefits are modest. In one study, for example, 34 percent of people given standard lupus treatment showed improvement, compared to 43 percent of people given Benlysta plus standard lupus treatment.
(Click Benlysta Uses for more details on this treatment for SLE. Other topics covered in this article include how the medicine works to suppress the immune system, the age groups it is approved for, and whether there are any "off-label" uses.)
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