› 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.
› In studies, people with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) taking methotrexate had improved symptoms when Cimzia (Certolizumab) was added to methotrexate.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) is as effective as other similar medicines for Crohn's disease. It can be an option for people taking other RA medications that have too many side effects of don't work anymore.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) lasts longer in the body than other RA medications, letting it work longer.
› Available in a prefilled syringe. This can make it easier to give yourself the injection.
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.
› Can lower your immune system's ability to fight infections. You can get serious infections such as TB (tuberculosis) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria.
› Can have a higher risk for causing bladder infections, rash, and upper respiratory infections (cold or flu) compared to other similar medicines.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia, and other cancers.
› Requires routine tests to check for infections.
› Not a good choice if you have a history of heart failure, nervous system problems, or hepatitis B.
› There's no generic available and it can be very expensive.
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.
› Cimzia (Certolizumab) is a medicine that's injected just under the skin (subcutaneous). It can be given in your doctor's office or you can do it yourself at home.
› It can take multiple doses before you start to see any effects, so don't change your dose without talking to your doctor.
› Tell your doctor if you have night sweats, persistent fever, fatigue, weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes.
› You'll need to have a TB (tuberculosis) test before you start Cimzia (Certolizumab) and periodically during treatment.
› Don't get any live vaccines while you're taking Cimzia (Certolizumab) since they may not work as well. Wait at least 3 months after you've stopped taking Cimzia (Certolizumab) before getting a live vaccine.