Compare Orencia vs. Enbrel

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

Orencia (abatacept)

Prescription only

Enbrel (etanercept)

Prescription only
Calms down the immune system and prevents joint damage.

Orencia (abatacept) slows the progress of rheumatoid arthritis, but can also cause serious side effects.

Calms down your immune system to prevent joint damage.

Enbrel (etanercept) effectively calms down your immune system, but it puts you at risk of serious infections.

5.0/ 7 average rating with 90 reviewsforEnbrel
Upsides
  • 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.
  • People taking Enbrel (etanercept) for rheumatoid arthritis showed significant improvement and were able to reduce the dose or stop their other RA medicines.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can work for you even if other medications didn't help your rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Enbrel (etanercept) is the first biologic approved for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Since it has been around for a long time, its side effects are well known.
  • Many people have only minor or no side effects.
  • It's available as a pre-filled syringe and SureClick auto-injector pen which some people find more convenient and easier to use.
Downsides
  • 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).
  • Enbrel (etanercept) raises your risk of serious or life-threatening infections, including tuberculosis (TB).
  • Enbrel (etanercept) can increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia and other cancers.
  • May not be the best choice if you have a history of heart failure or nervous system problems like multiple sclerosis.
  • You'll need to have regular blood tests before and during treatment to make sure you don't have any problems taking Enbrel (etanercept).
  • You could get injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, rash, itching, or bruising.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Infusion
  • Injection
  • Injection
Price
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$3912.13
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$4537.83
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Reviews
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90 
62%
think this treatment is worth it
53%
think this treatment works well
17%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    18%
  • Common cold
    12%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Cough
    8%
  • Back pain
    7%
  • High blood pressure
    7%
  • Indigestion
    6%
  • Urinary tract infection
    6%
  • Rash
    4%
  • Pain in arms or legs
    3%
See more detailed side effects
5possible side effects
  • Any infection
    27%
  • Upper respiratory infections
    17%
  • Injection site reactions
    15%
  • Non-upper respiratory infections
    12%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • High risk of infections with TNF inhibitors

    Using TNF inhibitors

  • Immunosuppression and Infections

    Taking immunosuppressive medications

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • More COPD side effects

    COPD

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions

    Latex allergy

  • Heart problems

    History of heart failure

  • Serious infections

    Taking other immunosuppressant drugs

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Cancer

    Taking other immunosuppressant drugs

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Nervous system effects

    History of nervous system conditions

See more detailed risks and warnings