Compare cyclophosphamide vs. Orencia

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Cytoxan
(cyclophosphamide)

Orencia
(abatacept)

Treats various cancers and kidney disorders. As with all chemotherapy, Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) has many side effects but is also very effective against different cancers.Calms down the immune system and prevents joint damage. Orencia (abatacept) slows the progress of rheumatoid arthritis, but can also cause serious side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)?
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Have you used Orencia (abatacept)?
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Side effects
cyclophosphamideOrencia

The cyclophosphamide FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about cyclophosphamide side effects »
  • Headache 5%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Cough 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • High blood pressure 3%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Urinary tract infection 1%
  • Rash 1%
  • Pain in arms or legs 1%
More Orencia side effects »
How it works
cyclophosphamideOrencia
Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) works by stopping cancer cells from multiplying.Orencia (abatacept) is a biologic DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug) - sometimes just called a "biologic". It prevents your body from activating the cells that cause inflammation.
Type of medication
cyclophosphamideOrencia
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Infusion
  • Injection
Used for
cyclophosphamideOrencia
Risk factors for serious side effects
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Previous liver disease
  • Previous radiation to abdomen
  • Poor prognosis
Detailed Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) risks & warnings »
  • Using TNF inhibitors
  • Taking immunosuppressive medications
  • History of repeat infections
  • Adults with rheumatoid arthritis taking TNF inhibitors
  • COPD
Detailed Orencia (abatacept) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Kidneys and liver
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) can cause kidney or bladder problems or make you at risk of getting kidney infections. To stop this from happening, you should drink plenty of liquids and urinate often. If you have pink or red urine or pain on urination, tell your doctor right away.
  • Effective when used in combination with other anticancer agents or by itself against blood cancers and a kidney disease known as minimal change nephrotic syndrome.
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) can seriously damage the kidneys.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Weight
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) can cause liver damage. You're more likely to have this if you're taking certain other chemotherapy drugs or getting radiation throughout your entire body. If you have sudden weight gain, swelling of your stomach, fluid build up in your abdomen, yellowing skin or eyes, dark urine or pale stools, talk to your doctor right away.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • Effective when used in combination with other anticancer agents or by itself against blood cancers and a kidney disease known as minimal change nephrotic syndrome.
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) is one of the most well-known medications for cancer, so doctors know what to expect.
  • Available in generic and in both a pill or as an injection.
  • In a 2-year study that used IV Orencia (abatacept) with methotrexate, more than half of the people had remission and the majority felt significantly better.
  • Helps minimize joint damage, lowers symptoms, and prevents future problems. People taking Orencia (abatacept) had no new joint damage after two years.
  • Taking Orencia (abatacept) allows RA patients to use less prednisone, a steroid that has many side effects.
  • You can give yourself Orencia (abatacept) subcutaneously on your own at home rather than visiting a clinic or hospital.
  • Available in a prefilled autoinjector for convenient use.
Downsides and risks
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) can seriously damage the kidneys.
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) can cause many different side effects throughout the body.
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) is more likely to cause nausea and vomiting compared to other chemotherapy drugs.
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) can cause infertility.
  • Orencia (abatacept) can be costly.
  • The IV infusion form of Orencia (abatacept) can cause a reaction, which ranges from a slight itching or warm feeling to more serious side effects such as low blood pressure and chest pain.
  • The IV infusion form of Orencia (abatacept) contains maltose, a type of sugar, that can give false high blood sugar readings with certain types of blood sugar monitors on the day of Orencia (abatacept) infusion. The self-injection subcutaneous form does not contain maltose. Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes.
  • If you need TNF inhibitors as part of your treatment, it is not recommended to take Orencia (abatacept). If you have COPD, you are at higher risk of side effects.
  • Orencia (abatacept) lowers your ability to fight infection. Your risk can increase if you take medications that lower your immune system or have an active infection. You may need to get tested for tuberculosis before starting Orencia (abatacept).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
cyclophosphamideOrencia
  • This medication comes in an injection or pill. You and your doctor will decide what form is most appropriate for you.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent urinary problems.
  • You should protect yourself and your sexual partners from getting pregnant while taking Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) for at least 4 months if you're a male or a year if you're female.
  • You're more likely to get sick or heal slower while taking Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide). Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines.
  • Talk to your doctor if you start having breathing problems that don't go away.
  • If you are using the IV version of Orencia (abatacept), you will only need to get infusions once a month (after the first initial doses). It takes about 30 minutes to give the full dose of medicine. Stay hydrated and ask your nurse to apply dry heat (instant warm packs) to your arm to help find your good veins.
  • The self-injections are taken once a week. You or your caregiver should receive training on the proper way to prepare and inject Orencia (abatacept).
  • Keep the Orencia (abatacept) self-injection refrigerated, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before using it.
  • Each time you use Orencia (abatacept), it's important to rotate the sites you chose to inject it in. Don't inject Orencia (abatacept) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • As with all injection medicines, store it securely away from children and throw away used syringes in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container, never in the trash.
Learn more
More about cyclophosphamideSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)?
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More about OrenciaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Orencia (abatacept)?
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