Compare Orencia vs. Arava

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



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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  • Coupons for Orencia (Abatacept)
  • Cost for (1) 4 syringes of 125mg/ml carton of Orencia (Abatacept)
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Orencia (Abatacept)?
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Have you used Arava (Leflunomide)?
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Side effects
  • 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
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
Biological response modifier
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
Risk factors for serious side effects
        • Taking immunosuppressive medications
        • History of repeat infections
        • Adults with rheumatoid arthritis taking TNF inhibitors
        Detailed Orencia (Abatacept) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.

        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.

        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.

        Upsides and benefits
        • 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
        • 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
        • 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
        Have you used Orencia (Abatacept)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about AravaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
        Have you used Arava (Leflunomide)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it