Compare Humira vs. Orencia

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

Humira
(adalimumab)

Orencia
(abatacept)

Calms down the immune system. Humira (adalimumab) is good for treating many autoimmune conditions, but it can also cause serious side effects.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
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.94Humira
Reviews for Humira
60%
of people (All ages) say Humira is worth it
51%
say it works well
26%
say it's a big hassle
182 reviews
Have you used Humira (adalimumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Orencia (abatacept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
HumiraOrencia
  • Upper airway infection 4%
  • Rash 6%
  • Headache 4%
  • Sinus infection 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Injection site reactions 7%
  • Urinary tract infection 3%
  • Flu syndrome 1%
  • Stomach pain 3%
  • High cholesterol 2%
More Humira 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
HumiraOrencia
Humira (adalimumab) is a TNF blocker which stops inflammation.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
HumiraOrencia
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
HumiraOrencia
  • Injection
  • Infusion
  • Injection
Used for
HumiraOrencia
Risk factors for serious side effects
HumiraOrencia
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications such as Kineret or Orencia
  • Age 65 or older
  • Active, chronic, or recurrent infection
  • Comorbidities
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications, such as azathiprine or 6-mercaptopurine, at the same time as Humira (adalimumab)
Detailed Humira (adalimumab) 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

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Upsides and benefits
HumiraOrencia
  • Humira (adalimumab) is effective in reducing symptoms in all of its approved indications.
  • You can give yourself Humira (adalimumab) on your own at home rather than visiting a clinic or hospital.
  • Humira (adalimumab) treats many different autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in a single-use pen (Humira Pen) that may be more convenient and easier for some people to use.
  • 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
HumiraOrencia
  • Not first-choice treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Humira (adalimumab) is an injection and not an oral medication.
  • Humira (adalimumab) is expensive because there's no generic available yet.
  • Humira (adalimumab) lowers your ability to fight infection and in some cases can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, diabetes, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
  • You'll need to properly dispose of the needle, syringes, or Pen in a sharps container.
  • Humira (adalimumab) needs to be refrigerated until you use it, so if you're traveling, you'll need to carry it in a cooler with an ice pack.
  • 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
HumiraOrencia
  • Humira (adalimumab) is a medication that's injected under the skin. Your doctor can give you your first dose, then you can inject yourself at home once you feel comfortable doing so on your own.
  • Humira (adalimumab) lowers your ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you have a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex since the syringe needle cover has latex in it.
  • Each time you use Humira (adalimumab), it's important to rotate the sites you chose to inject it in. Don't inject Humira (adalimumab) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated.
  • As with all injection medicines, store securely away from children and throw away used syringes in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container, and not in the trash.
  • 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 HumiraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Humira (adalimumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about OrenciaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Orencia (abatacept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it