What is this medication?
ABATACEPT (a ba TA sept) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It prevents acute graft-versus-host disease following a stem-cell transplant.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Orencia, Orencia ClickJect
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- hepatitis B or history of hepatitis B infection
- immune system problems
- infection or history of infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
- lung or breathing problems, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccination
- scheduled to have surgery
- tuberculosis, a positive skin test for tuberculosis, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tuberculosis
- an unusual or allergic reaction to abatacept, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medicine is for infusion into a vein or for injection under the skin. Infusions are given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting. If you are to give your own medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine under the skin. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or health care provider to get one.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While infusions in a clinic may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This medicine is used once a week if given by injection under the skin. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
If you are to be given an infusion of this medicine, it is important not to miss your dose. Doses are usually every 4 weeks. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- live vaccines
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines that lower your chance of fighting an infection
- TNF blockers such as adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your doctor for regular checks on your progress. Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
You will be tested for tuberculosis (TB) before you start this medicine. If your doctor prescribed any medicine for TB, you should start taking the TB medicine before starting this medicine. Make sure to finish the full course of TB medicine.
This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your doctor or health care professional if you get fever, chills, or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
If you have diabetes and are getting this medicine in a vein, the infusion can give false high blood sugar readings on the day of your dose. This may happen if you use certain types of blood glucose tests. Your health care provider may tell you to use a different way to monitor your blood sugar levels.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- signs and symptoms of infection like fever; chills; cough; sore throat; pain or trouble passing urine
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- pain, redness, or irritation at site where injected
- stomach pain or upset
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Infusions will be given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Storage for syringes and autoinjectors stored at home:
Keep out of the reach of children. Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Keep this medicine in the original container. Protect from light. Do not freeze. Do not shake. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.