What is Orencia®? (with pictures)

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Orencia® is often used as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
Orencia® is often used as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Orencia®, known by the generic term abatacept, is a medication produced by Bristol-Myers-Squibb®. It is principally recommended as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and sometimes pediatric arthritis in children over the age of 6; it may also treat psoriasis. The medication acts on T-cells to dull immune response, making it useful for certain diseases that have an autoimmune component.

Some patients may receive Orencia® through an IV.
Some patients may receive Orencia® through an IV.

Method of delivery for Orencia® is dual. Some people have injections. Others receive intravenous (IV) infusions. Where administration takes place may depend on decision of doctor and patient. Patients might learn to self-inject, but if infusion is required the services of a doctor’s office or health clinic are typically needed. IVs are more challenging because starting a line takes skill.

Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Orencia.
Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Orencia.

How often Orencia® is used depends on person prescription. On average, people might receive a dosage every two to four weeks. Successful response to medication shows prevention of some damage and reduction of discomfort. While these effects are very useful, abatacept is not curative and won’t make conditions like rheumatoid arthritis go away.

Since abatacept has an effect on the immune system, it does leave people more vulnerable to certain illnesses. People taking this medicine cannot get any vaccinations that contain live viruses because greater likelihood exists of contracting these viruses. More care is required when people are exposed to others who might be ill, especially with things like flu. Most vulnerable are those who have or contract tuberculosis. This may call for different medications so that the body recovers.

Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.
Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.

Another condition that may suggest special care might need to be taken is hepatitis B. Sometimes when the condition is present and people take Orencia® they develop liver damage. A doctor should closely follow a person taking this medication who has any form of hepatitis. Pregnant women may also need additional following and tests do not fully indicate the safety and safety of abatacept during pregnancy. It is not safe for infants to have exposure to this medicine through breastfeeding.

The most serious reactions to Orencia&reg: include severe allergic reaction, which might manifest as wheezing, hives, swollen mouth and face, and difficulty breathing. People who develop dry throat, wheezing or dry cough, and have any symptoms of flu need to alert doctors immediately. Any type of infection of the skin, paleness, breathing trouble, or discomfort when urinating also warrants contact with a doctor right away.

There are some lesser side effects, which should be mentioned to a doctor. These may be transient and some people won’t experience any of them. They include most forms of stomach upset and stomachache, aching back, headache, sensation of dizziness, and mild cold-like symptoms.

No medicine is right for everyone and Orencia® may not be right for people if they have certain health conditions. Some medications may have interactions with abatacept, too. People should make certain to give a complete health history to doctors including listing all medications, supplements or herbal medicines used, even if only occasionally, to make certain that no contraindications exist.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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    • Orencia® is often used as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
      Orencia® is often used as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
    • Some patients may receive Orencia® through an IV.
      Some patients may receive Orencia® through an IV.
    • Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Orencia.
      Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Orencia.
    • Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.
      Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints.