Lupkynis (voclosporin) is a prescription oral capsule taken with other medications to treat lupus nephritis in adults. Lupkynis can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include diarrhea and high blood pressure.

Lupkynis has boxed warnings. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous. For details, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during Lupkynis treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

Mild side effects have been reported with Lupkynis. These include:

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be easily managed. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop taking Lupkynis unless your doctor recommends it.

Lupkynis may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

Serious side effects have been reported with Lupkynis. These include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Lupkynis, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Lupkynis, visit MedWatch.

Allergic reaction

For some people, Lupkynis can cause an allergic reaction. But this side effect wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

In general, symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild or serious. You can learn more about possible symptoms in this article.

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms and can determine whether you should keep taking Lupkynis.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or difficulty breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Lupkynis, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about side effects of Lupkynis.

How do Lupkynis’s side effects compare with CellCept’s side effects?

Based on studies of CellCept, side effects include vomiting and leukopenia (low white blood cell count). These side effects were not reported in Lupkynis studies.

Diarrhea and an increased risk of infection were reported with both medications.

How do Lupkynis’s side effects compare with Benlysta’s side effects?

There weren’t many similarities in side effects between Lupkynis and Benlysta. Based on Benlysta studies, commonly reported side effects include fever, nausea, insomnia (trouble sleeping), and depression. These side effects were not reported in Lupkynis studies.

Learn more about some of the side effects Lupkynis may cause.


Lupkynis has a boxed warning for the increased risk of cancer, which was a reported side effect in studies. Specifically, skin cancer and lymphomas (a type of blood cancer) have been reported.

Depending on where the cancer is located, you can develop different symptoms. Some general symptoms that typically occur with skin cancer and lymphomas include:

  • unintentional weight loss
  • fatigue
  • lymph node swelling
  • discoloration of skin bumps
  • development of irregularly shaped skin bumps

Higher doses and a longer treatment duration of Lupkynis can increase the risk of developing cancer.

What might help

It’s best to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. You should wear protective clothing that covers a large amount of your skin and avoid artificial UV light (tanning beds and sun lamps). You should regularly examine your skin for any changes, as noted above. Your doctor should also monitor you for symptoms.

If you notice any of the above symptoms while taking Lupkynis, talk with your doctor right away. They’ll likely want to examine you and further discuss your symptoms. They can then advise you on the next steps of care.


Lupkynis has a boxed warning for the increased risk of serious infection, a reported side effect in studies. This is because the drug lowers your immune system activity. It’s possible for these infections to be life threatening, so it’s important to monitor for symptoms.

Some general symptoms of infection you can watch for include:

  • fever
  • decreased (low) appetite
  • chills or sweats
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue

What might help

Talk with your doctor immediately if you develop any symptoms of an infection while taking Lupkynis. If you feel these symptoms could be life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Lupkynis treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start a new drug or combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • your dosage of the drug when the side effect occurred
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Taking notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Lupkynis affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Below is important information you should consider before starting Lupkynis.

Boxed warning: Risk of cancer and serious infection

Lupkynis has two boxed warnings. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. For details, see the “Side effects explained” section above.

Other warnings

Lupkynis can sometimes cause harmful effects in people with certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether this drug is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before starting Lupkynis. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

  • kidney problems other than lupus nephritis
  • liver problems
  • cancer, such as skin cancer or lymphoma (a type of blood cancer)
  • heart problems, including high blood pressure
  • nervous system problems, such as seizures
  • previous allergic reaction to Lupkynis
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding

Alcohol and Lupkynis

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Lupkynis. But consuming alcohol while taking this drug may increase your risk of side effects from alcohol. These side effects can include drowsiness, trouble focusing, and mood changes. So you may want to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lupkynis.

It’s important to note that Lupkynis capsules contain a small amount of alcohol. See this article for more information on the effects of alcohol on your body.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol during Lupkynis treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Lupkynis

Before starting Lupkynis treatment, it’s important to talk with your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed.


Lupkynis treatment is not recommended during pregnancy. This is because Lupkynis contains alcohol, which is not safe to consume while pregnant. Limited data is available about whether Lupkynis can cause major problems with fetal development (commonly known as birth defects). If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your treatment options.

If you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor may recommend using a form of birth control during your Lupkynis treatment. Talk with your doctor for more information and recommendations regarding birth control use during Lupkynis treatment.


Breastfeeding is not recommended during Lupkynis treatment and for 7 days after the last dose due to the potential for serious side effects. No information is available on whether Lupkynis passes into human breast milk or the effects it might have on a child who’s breastfed. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor about your options.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.