Orencia

Generic Name: Abatacept

  • What is Orencia?

    Orencia is a medicine used to reduce signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults, and in children ≥6 years and adolescents with moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Orencia?

    Orencia can make you more likely to get infections or make any infection you have worse. It is important to tell your doctor if you think you have any infections.

    If you have had tuberculosis (TB), a positive skin test for TB, have recently been in close contact with someone who has had TB, or if you get any of its symptoms (a dry cough that doesn't go away, weight loss, fever, night sweats), call your doctor immediately. Before you start Orencia, your doctor will examine you for TB or perform a skin test.

    If you have diabetes, be aware that Orencia contains maltose, a type of sugar that can give false high blood sugar readings with certain types of blood glucose monitors, on the day of Orencia infusion. Your doctor may tell you to use a different way to monitor your blood sugar levels.

    Orencia may cause allergic reactions. Signs include a skin rash, swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat, or trouble breathing. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

  • Who should not take Orencia?

    Do not take Orencia if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Orencia?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Orencia. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any kind of infection, even if it is small; if you have a history of TB; if you have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease; have or have had viral hepatitis; are scheduled to have surgery; or if you have recently received a vaccination or are scheduled for one.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults and children: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition and weight. You will receive Orencia at your doctor's office.

  • How should I take Orencia?

    Your doctor will give you Orencia through a vein in your arm. It will take about 30 minutes to give you the full dose of the medicine. You will receive Orencia 2 weeks and 4 weeks after the first dose. You will then receive Orencia every 4 weeks.

  • What should I avoid while taking Orencia?

    Do not miss doses or appointments with your doctor; avoid contact with people who have contagious infections.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Orencia?

    If Orencia is taken with certain drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Orencia with the following: adalimubab, anakinra, etanercept, infliximab, or rituximab.

  • What are the possible side effects of Orencia?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, nausea, sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection

  • Can I receive Orencia if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Orencia during pregancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Orencia?

    If you miss your appointment, call your doctor to schedule your next dose.

  • How should I store Orencia?

    Orencia is kept refrigerated at your doctor's office.