Compare Orencia vs. Arava

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

Orencia
(Abatacept)

Arava
(Leflunomide)

Orencia (Abatacept) decreases inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Orencia (Abatacept) slows the progress of rheumatoid arthritis, but can also have serious side effects.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
OrenciaArava
  • Headache 5%
  • High blood pressure 3%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Rash 1%
  • Pain in extremity 1%
  • Cough 1%
  • Urinary tract infection 1%
More Orencia side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Arava side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Arava »
How it works
OrenciaArava
Orencia (Abatacept) is called a DMARD, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. It prevents your body from activating cells that cause inflammation.Coming soon.
Type of medication
OrenciaArava
Immunosuppressant
Immunomodulator
Antirheumatic
Biological response modifier
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
OrenciaArava
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
OrenciaArava
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
Risk factors for serious side effects
OrenciaArava
        • Taking immunosuppressive medications
        • History of repeat infections
        • Adults with rheumatoid arthritis taking TNF inhibitors
        Detailed Orencia (Abatacept) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.
        Pregnancy category
        OrenciaArava
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        OrenciaArava
        • Helps minimize joint damage, lowers symptoms, and prevents future problems.
        • 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.
        • People taking [name-common] 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.
        • Orencia (Abatacept) can be used without other medications for RA.
        Coming soon.
        Downsides and risks
        OrenciaArava
        • You'll have to get your blood tested regularly while taking Orencia (Abatacept).
        • You'll probably have to take other medications to help treat your RA symptoms.
        • Orencia (Abatacept) is pretty expensive.
        • The IV infusion form of Orencia (Abatacept) can cause a reaction, which ranges from a slight itching or warm feeling to more serious complications like low blood pressure and chest pain.
        • Because RA is chronic disease, you'll likely take Orencia (Abatacept) for many years.
        Coming soon.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        OrenciaArava
        • Keep the Orencia (Abatacept) self-injection refrigerated, but let it rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before using it.
        • Each time you use Orencia (Abatacept), be sure to rotate the sites you chose to inject it in. Don't inject it where your skin is tender, bruised, red, or scaly.
        • If you decide to go with the IV version of Orencia (Abatacept), you will only need to get infusions once a month. The self-injections however need to be taken once a week.
        • If you get the IV infusion, stay hydrated, try to relax, and ask your nurse to apply dry heat (instant warm packs) to your arm to help find your good veins.
        Coming soon.
        Learn more
        More about OrenciaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about AravaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert