General Articles

Abatacept

U.S. BRAND NAMES — Orencia®
PHARMACOLOGIC CATEGORY Antirheumatic, Disease Modifying
REASONS NOT TO TAKE THIS MEDICINE If you have an allergy to abatacept or any other part of this medicine. Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved. If you are taking any of these medicines: Adalimumab, etanercept, or infliximab.
What is this medicine used for? This medicine is used to treat arthritis. The arthritis is usually considered moderately to severely active and may not have responded to other treatments.
How does it work? Abatacept is an arthritis-changing medicine. It reduces inflammation and helps reduce symptoms and protect joints from further harm.
How is it best taken? This medicine is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital) Call your healthcare provider for instructions.
What are the precautions when taking this medicine? Serious infections have been reported with use of this medicine. If you have any infection, are taking antibiotics now or in the recent past, or have many infections, talk with healthcare provider. Be careful about taking vaccinations while you are receiving this medicine. If you have diabetes, talk with healthcare provider. You may be more likely to develop infections. If you have lung disease, talk with healthcare provider. Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines. Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.
What are some possible side effects of this medicine? Risk of infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu. Headache. Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over several minutes from sitting or lying position. Be careful climbing. Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. Irritation where the shot is given.
What should I monitor? Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same? You will need a tuberculosis test before starting this medicine. Follow up with healthcare provider.
REASONS TO CALL HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center immediately or dial 911. Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Signs or symptoms of infection. These include a fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, chills, severe sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, increased sputum or change in color, painful urination, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain. Severe dizziness. Severe headache. Any rash. No improvement in condition or feeling worse.
How should I store this medicine? This medicine will be given to you in a healthcare setting. You will not store it at home.
GENERAL STATEMENTS If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times. Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else’s medicine. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets. Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant). Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

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February 2008
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