Orencia Alternatives

(abatacept)

Alternatives

Compare Orencia (abatacept) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Orencia (abatacept) or used for similar purposes.

Orencia
(abatacept)

Rituxan
(Rituximab)

Actimmune
(tocilizumab)

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.Calms down the immune system and helps prevent joint damage. Actimmune (tocilizumab) effectively relieves pain and prevents joint damage. You can get it as a shot or an infusion, but it may not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Orencia (abatacept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Rituxan (Rituximab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Actimmune (tocilizumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • Pain in arms or legs 1%
  • Rash 1%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Urinary tract infection 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • High blood pressure 3%
  • Cough 1%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Headache 5%
More Orencia side effects »
  • Chills 13%
  • Cardiac disorder 28%
  • Lung disorder 31%
  • Pyrexia 60%
  • Any serious infection 1%
  • Cardiac side effect 1%
  • Infusion reaction 12%
  • Any infection 5%
  • Tested positive for HACA 23%
More Rituxan side effects »
  • ALT increase (liver test change) 2%
  • Upper abdominal pain 1%
  • High blood pressure 1%
  • Bronchitis (airway inflammation) 1%
  • Rash 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Mouth sores 1%
More Actemra side effects »
How it works
OrenciaRituxanActemra
Orencia (abatacept) is a biologic DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug) - sometimes just called a "biologic". It prevents your body from activating the 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.Actimmune (tocilizumab) is a biologic drug. It belongs to a group of drugs called DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug). Actimmune (tocilizumab) stops IL-6 (interleukin-6), a protein that revs up the immune system, from working. Actimmune (tocilizumab) lowers inflammation, relieves symptoms, and prevents the disease from getting worse.
Type of medication
OrenciaRituxanActemra
Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
Available as
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • Infusion
  • Injection
  • Infusion (iv)
  • Infusion
  • Injection
Used for
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Moderate To Severe
Risk factors for serious side effects
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • Using TNF inhibitors
  • Taking immunosuppressive medications
  • History of repeat infections
  • Adults with rheumatoid arthritis taking TNF inhibitors
  • COPD
Detailed Orencia (abatacept) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
  • Age 60 or older
  • Weak immune system
  • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with immunosuppressant drugs (if using for RA)
  • Taking Rituxan (Rituximab) with chemotherapy (if using for NHL or CLL
Detailed Rituxan (Rituximab) risks & warnings »
  • Diabetes, HIV, or other medical conditions that cause a weak immune system
  • Taking other immunosuppressant medications
  • Had TB or were exposed to TB in the past
  • History of diverticulitis
Detailed Actimmune (tocilizumab) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
OrenciaRituxanActemra
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Discuss with your doctor the serious heart, kidney, liver, or stomach problems that can happen while on Rituxan (Rituximab).
  • This drug may not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
Pain
OrenciaRituxanActemra
No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Actimmune (tocilizumab) makes it harder for your immune system to fight infections. It increases the risk of serious or life-threatening infections, including TB (tuberculosis). Let your doctor know if you have a fever, cough, red or painful skin sores, stomach pain, or pain when you urinate. You'll need to have a TB (tuberculosis) test before starting Actimmune (tocilizumab).
  • In studies, Actimmune (tocilizumab) lowered joint pain and slowed down joint damage better than a placebo in people who didn't have earlier success with methotrexate.
Upsides and benefits
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • 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.
  • In studies, Actimmune (tocilizumab) lowered joint pain and slowed down joint damage better than a placebo in people who didn't have earlier success with methotrexate.
  • Actimmune (tocilizumab) can work for you even if methotrexate or other medications haven't improved your rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Many people have only minor side effects, or none at all.
Downsides and risks
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • 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).
  • Since Actimmune (tocilizumab) calms down your immune system, it raises your risk of serious or possibly life-threatening infections, including TB (tuberculosis).
  • Actimmune (tocilizumab) doesn't come in a pill form - it has to be used as an injection or infusion.
  • You'll need to get blood tests done before and during your treatment to make sure no problems arise while taking Actimmune (tocilizumab).
  • This drug may not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • There is no generic form of the drug, so it can be expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
OrenciaRituxanActemra
  • If you are using the IV version of Orencia (abatacept), you will only need to get infusions once a month (after the first initial doses). It takes about 30 minutes to give the full dose of medicine. Stay hydrated and ask your nurse to apply dry heat (instant warm packs) to your arm to help find your good veins.
  • The self-injections are taken once a week. You or your caregiver should receive training on the proper way to prepare and inject Orencia (abatacept).
  • Keep the Orencia (abatacept) self-injection refrigerated, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before using it.
  • Each time you use Orencia (abatacept), it's important to rotate the sites you chose to inject it in. Don't inject Orencia (abatacept) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • As with all injection medicines, store it securely away from children and throw away used syringes in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container, never in the trash.
  • 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).
  • It can take between 2 weeks and 3 months to start working.
  • Even after your symptoms begin to improve, it is important to keep taking Actimmune (tocilizumab) to prevent further damage to your joints.
  • Actimmune (tocilizumab) is available as an infusion (given at a doctor's office or an infusion center) or as an injection (given to yourself at home). Discuss which is best for you with your doctor.
  • If you're using Actimmune (tocilizumab) at home, rotate your injection areas to avoid skin reactions. Don't give yourself an injection where your skin is red, bruised, or irritated.
  • Keep Actimmune (tocilizumab) refrigerated, but let it warm up to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before using it.
Learn more
More about OrenciaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Orencia (abatacept)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RituxanSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Rituxan (Rituximab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ActemraSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Actimmune (tocilizumab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it