It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. Be sure to keep all appointments.
It is important to tell your doctor if you become pregnant. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients using this medicine.
Do not receive this medicine if your doctor says you are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) negative. Your doctor will test you for EBV.
Using this medicine may increase your risk of having serious conditions called post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The risk of developing PTLD is higher in patients who are EBV negative, have cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, or have received treatments for transplant rejections. Check with your doctor right away if you have changes in mood or usual behavior, confusion, problems with thinking, loss of memory, decreased strength on one side of the body, or changes in vision, walking, or talking.
This medicine may increase your risk of getting certain types of cancer, especially of the skin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Use sunscreen or sunblock lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on a regular basis when you are outdoors. Wear protective clothing and hats, and stay out of direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
This medicine may increase your risk of developing infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you are using this medicine. Wash your hands often. Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection before you start using this medicine. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back.
You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
This medicine may increase your risk for developing a rare and serious virus infection called polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN). PVAN is caused by BK virus. The BK virus may affect how your kidneys work and cause a transplanted kidney to fail. Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: bloody urine; a decreased frequency or amount of urine; increased thirst; loss of appetite; lower back or side pain; nausea; swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs; trouble with breathing; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; or weight gain.
While you are being treated with belatacept, and after you stop using it, it is important to talk to your doctor about the immunizations (vaccines) you should receive. Do not get any vaccine without your doctor's approval. Belatacept may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the vaccine is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not receive certain vaccines since there is a chance they could pass the infection on to you. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this.