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Generic Name: Orencia

What is this medicine?

ABATACEPT (a ba TA sept) is used to treat moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adults. This medicine is also used to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • are taking other medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • COPD
  • diabetes
  • infection or history of infections
  • recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
  • scheduled to have surgery
  • tuberculosis, a positive skin test for tuberculosis or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tuberculosis
  • viral hepatitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to abatacept, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein or for injection under the skin. Infusions are given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting. If you are to give your own medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine under the skin. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While infusions in a clinic may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

What if I miss a dose?

This medicine is used once a week if given by injection under the skin. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

If you are to be given an infusion, it is important not to miss your dose. Doses are usually every 4 weeks. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • adalimumab
  • anakinra
  • certolizumab
  • etanercept
  • golimumab
  • infliximab
  • live virus vaccines
  • rituximab
  • tocilizumab

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • vaccines

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups while you are taking this medicine. Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

Call your doctor or health care professional if you get a cold or other infection while receiving this medicine. Do not treat yourself. This medicine may decrease your body's ability to fight infection. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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