Compare Orencia vs. Rituxan

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

Orencia (abatacept)

Prescription only

Rituxan (Rituximab)

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.

Rituxan (Rituximab) is effective for treating multiple types of cancer and arthritis. That said, you'll need to watch for possibly serious side effects, especially infusion reactions.

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.
  • Treats leukemia, lymphoma, and blood vessel inflammation.
  • Also treats moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis that hasn't responded to anti-TNF treatment (but you'll need to take methotrexate too).
  • The chance of having a reaction to the infusion is highest during your first dose, but the risk decreases each time you get Rituxan (Rituximab). It usually happens within 30 minutes to 2 hours after starting the infusion.
  • Rituxan (Rituximab) is a targeted therapy that works differently than chemotherapy. Both work well when they're taken together, especially when treating CLL and NHL.
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).
  • Only your doctor or other trained medical staff can administer Rituxan (Rituximab), so you'll need to go into an office or clinic for every dose.
  • Not the best choice if you have heart problems.
  • Rituxan (Rituximab) can stay in your body for up to 6 months after you complete treatment. Men and women who are able to have children need to use birth control for up to one year after finishing Rituxan (Rituximab).
  • Discuss with your doctor the serious heart, kidney, liver, or stomach problems that can happen while on Rituxan (Rituximab).
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Infusion
  • Injection
  • Infusion (IV)
Price
Lowest price
$3912.13
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Reviews
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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
4possible side effects
  • Any infection
    62%
  • Infusion reaction
    12%
  • Any serious infection
    11%
  • Cardiac side effect
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • High risk of infections with TNF inhibitors
    • Using TNF inhibitors
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Lower effectiveness of vaccines
  • Immunosuppression and Infections
    • Taking immunosuppressive medications
    • History of repeat infections
    • Adults with rheumatoid arthritis taking TNF inhibitors
  • More COPD side effects
    • COPD
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Nervous system effects
    • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with immunosuppressant drugs (if using for RA)
    • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with chemotherapy (if using for NHL or CLL
    • Stem cell transplant
  • Skin and mouth reactions
  • Kidney injury
    • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)
    • Rapidly growing tumors
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Drug interactions
  • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Start of therapy with Rituxan (Rituximab)
  • Blood problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.