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Belatacept Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of belatacept include: cytomegalovirus disease. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to belatacept: intravenous powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by belatacept. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking belatacept, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

More common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • agitation
  • black, tarry stools
  • bladder pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • bone pain
  • burning while urinating
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • coma
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • decreased urine output
  • depression
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • hostility
  • inability to move the arms and legs
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • itching in other skin areas
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of bladder control
  • lower back or side pain
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pale skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid weight gain
  • scaling
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stupor
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
  • sweating
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • swollen glands
  • tightness in the chest
  • trembling
  • troubled breathing
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs
  • weight gain
  • wheezing
Less common:
  • Back pain
  • coughing or spitting up blood
  • drowsiness
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • loss of appetite
  • night sweats
  • persistent non-healing sore
  • pink growth reddish patch or irritated area
  • shiny bump
  • sudden high fever or low-grade fever for months
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • weight gain
  • white, yellow, or waxy scar-like area

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with belatacept may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • blemishes on the skin
  • body aches or pain
  • collection of blood under the skin
  • cough producing mucus
  • deep, dark purple bruise
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty with moving
  • dry mouth
  • ear congestion
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • increased urination
  • itching, pain, redness, or swelling
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of voice
  • muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  • muscle or bone pain
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
  • pain in the joints
  • pimples
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • sleeplessness
  • sneezing
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • tightness in the chest
  • tremor
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • unexplained weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to belatacept: intravenous powder for injection


Immunologic side effects have included infections (82%), serious infections (36%), herpes infection (14%), cytomegalovirus (12%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (less than 10%), polyoma virus (4%), development of anti-belatacept antibodies (2%), tuberculosis (2%), and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (less than 2%).[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included hypertension (32%), hypotension (18%) and atrial fibrillation (less than 10%).[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included acne (8%), alopecia (less than 10%), and hyperhidrosis (less than 10%).[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included new onset diabetes (5%).[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included diarrhea (39%), constipation (33%), nausea (24%), vomiting (22%), abdominal pain (19%), abdominal pain upper (9%), and stomatitis (less than 10%).[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included urinary tract infection (37%), hematuria (16%), proteinuria (16%), and dysuria (11%).[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included anemia (45%), leucopenia (20%), neutropenia (less than 10%) and hematoma (less than 10%).[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia (21%), hyperkalemia (20%), hypophosphatemia (19%), dyslipidemia (19%), hyperglycemia (16%), hypocalcemia (13%), hypercholesterolemia (11%), hypomagnesemia (7%), and hyperuricemia (5%).[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia (17%), back pain(13%), and musculoskeletal pain (less than 10%).[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (21%), dizziness (9%), and tremor (8%).[Ref]


Oncologic side effects have included malignancies (3.5%), and non-melanoma skin cancer (1.5%).[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included insomnia (15%), and anxiety (10%).[Ref]


Renal side effects have included increased blood creatinine (15%), renal tubular necrosis (9%), chronic allograft nephropathy (less than 10%), renal impairment (less than 10%), renal artery stenosis (less than 10%), urinary incontinence (less than 10%), and hydronephrosis (less than 10%).[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included cough (24%), upper respiratory infection (15%), nasopharyngitis (13%), dyspnea (12%), influenza (11%), and bronchitis (10%).[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Nulojix (belatacept)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

Not all side effects for belatacept may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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