Orencia (Abatacept) decreases inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Orencia (Abatacept) slows the progress of rheumatoid arthritis, but can also have 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.
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Orencia (Abatacept) is called a DMARD, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. It prevents your body from activating cells that cause inflammation.
Rituxan (Rituximab) is a monoclonal antibody. It targets a specific protein on white blood cells that makes it easier for your immune system to find and destroy cancerous cells. It also relieves symptoms and slows the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
› 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.
› 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 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.
› 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).
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.
› Rituxan (Rituximab) is given as an IV infusion by trained medical staff in a clinic or hospital.
› You'll need to be monitored in the clinic in case you have a serious or life-threatening reaction during the infusion, but you can take other medications that'll lower your risk of this happening.
› It's very important that you read the Medication Guide before you start taking Rituxan (Rituximab).
› Rituxan (Rituximab) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you notice a fever, a cough that doesn't go away, or flu-like symptoms.
› Use effective birth control while you're taking Rituxan (Rituximab) and for 12 months after you finish treatment.
› Don't get live vaccines while you're taking Rituxan (Rituximab).