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Orencia (Abatacept) decreases inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our bottom line

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


  • 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.


  • 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.

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  • (1) 4 syringes of 125mg/ml carton
  • Cost for (1) 4 syringes of 125mg/ml carton of Orencia (Abatacept) at pharmacies

What to expect when you take Orencia (Abatacept)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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.
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Side effects for Orencia (Abatacept)

From clinical trials of Orencia / Rheumatoid Arthritis  ( 2944)

  • HeadacheHeadache18% for Orencia vs.13% for placebo
  • Common coldCommon cold12% for Orencia vs.9% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness9% for Orencia vs.7% for placebo
  • CoughCough8% for Orencia vs.7% for placebo
  • Back painBack pain7% for Orencia vs.6% for placebo
  • High blood pressureHigh blood pressure7% for Orencia vs.4% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion6% for Orencia vs.4% for placebo
  • Urinary tract infectionUrinary tract infection6% for Orencia vs.5% for placebo
  • RashRash4% for Orencia vs.3% for placebo
  • Pain in extremityPain in extremity3% for Orencia vs.2% for placebo

Risks and Warnings for Orencia (Abatacept)

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  • You shouldn't take Orencia (Abatacept) with TNF antagonists (other DMARDs like Remicade, Humira, and Enbrel). People taking any of these combinations can experience more infections.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Orencia (Abatacept)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits