Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 5, 2020.
Uses of Orencia:
- It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
- It is used to treat psoriatic arthritis.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Orencia?
- If you have an allergy to abatacept or any other part of Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors).
- If you are allergic to Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors); any part of Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, or infliximab.
- If you are taking anakinra, rituximab, or tocilizumab.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Orencia?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- This medicine may be used with other drugs to treat your health condition. If you are also taking other drugs, talk with your doctor about the risks and side effects that may happen.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly allergic side effects have rarely happened. Talk with your doctor.
- Very bad infections have been reported with use of Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors). If you have any infection, are taking antibiotics now or in the recent past, or have many infections, talk with your doctor.
- You may have more of a chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu. Some infections have been very bad and even deadly.
- You will need a TB (tuberculosis) test before starting Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors).
- Hepatitis B testing may be done. A hepatitis B infection may get worse while taking Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors).
- Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccines before treatment with Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors).
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines while you take Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) and after you stop taking it. Vaccine use with Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well. Talk with your doctor.
- Breathing problems have happened more often in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when taking Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors). This includes COPD that gets worse, cough, and trouble breathing. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may add to the chance of getting some types of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
- If you used Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) during pregnancy, tell your baby's doctor. You will need to discuss the safety and timing of certain vaccines with the doctor.
How is this medicine (Orencia) best taken?
Use Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Wash your hands before and after you give the shot.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- This medicine is colorless to a faint yellow. Do not use if the solution changes color.
- Before using Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors), take it out of the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not give into skin within 2 inches of the belly button.
- Do not give into skin that is irritated, tender, bruised, red, scaly, hard, scarred, or has stretch marks.
- Do not rub the site where you give the shot.
- Throw syringe away after use. Do not use the same syringe more than one time.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Flu-like signs.
- Warm, red, or painful skin or sores on the body.
- Shortness of breath.
- A skin lump or growth.
- Weight loss.
- Night sweats.
What are some other side effects of Orencia?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Signs of a common cold.
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Upset stomach.
- Stomach pain or diarrhea.
- Back pain.
- Irritation where Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors) is used.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Orencia?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Store in the original container to protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Orencia (abatacept auto-injectors), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
More about Orencia (abatacept)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 56 Reviews
- Drug class: antirheumatics
- FDA Approval History
- Drug Information
- Orencia (Advanced Reading)
- Orencia (Abatacept Infusion)
- Orencia (Abatacept Prefilled Syringes)
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.