|Drug class||T cell activation inhibitor|
|Main uses||Kidney transplant|
|Side effects||Low red blood cells, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, swelling, constipation, fever, cough, nausea, low or high potassium|
|Typical dose||5 to 10 mg/kg|
Belatacept, sold under the brand name Nulojix, is a medication used to prevent rejection following a kidney transplant. It is used with corticosteroids and mycophenolic acid. Use in the United Kingdom is not generally recommended. It is given by injection into a vein.
Common side effects include low red blood cells, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, swelling, constipation, fever, cough, nausea, and low or high potassium. Other side effects may include infections, cancer, and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. It is a recombinant fusion protein which acts as a T cell activation inhibitor.
Belatacept was approved for medical use in the United States and Europe in 2011. In the United Kingdom 250 mg costs the NHS about £355 as of 2021. This amount in the United States is about 930 USD.
It is initially given at a dose of 10 mg/kg at the time of surgery. Further doses are than given at days 5, 14, and 28 and at 8 and 12 weeks. Further doses of 5 mg/kg are than given every 4 weeks.
It is a fusion protein composed of the Fc fragment of a human IgG1 immunoglobulin linked to the extracellular domain of CTLA-4, which is a molecule crucial in the regulation of T cell costimulation, selectively blocking the process of T-cell activation. It differs from abatacept (Orencia) by only two amino acids.
- BNF 81: March-September 2021. BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. 2021. p. 893. ISBN 978-0857114105.
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