Abatacept

Where is Abatacept used?

Abatacept is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

This is a type of medicine called selective immunosuppressant that may prevent further damage to your bones and joints. It may also help your ability to perform daily activities. The medicine may help those who are not getting the results they need with other medicines for a certain condition. Abatacept has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How does Abatacept work?

Abatacept works by blocking certain cells in the immune system. It also blocks certain proteins important in the process of T-cell activation. The activated T-cells signal other factors in the immune system to generate swelling. By stopping the T-cells from becoming activated, this medicine will lessen the number of inflammation signals of the body. Abatacept also modifies the process of inflammation.

How is Abatacept used?

Before using this medication, let your doctor know if you:

  • Have current infection
  • Have diabetes, HIV, or weakened immune system
  • Have Hepatitis B, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Are planning to become pregnant or already pregnant and breastfeeding
  • Are scheduled to receive a vaccine

Abatacept must be given gently by injection under the skin of your upper arm, abdomen, or thigh. This medicine is usually given once a week. Your doctor may direct you to start to receive this drug by injection into a vein before starting treatment with this form of medication. If you are converting from regularly scheduled injections into a vein, follow the directions of your doctor carefully of when to start taking this medicine. The dosage may depend on your medical condition and response. Follow carefully the given advice from your doctor.

If you are using this medication at home, learn all the preparation needed from your doctor.

  • Before injecting, it is important to clean the injection site first with rubbing alcohol.
  • You should not inject into any areas of skin that are red, bruised, sore, or scaly.
  • Change the injection site every time to reduce the injury under the skin.

What are the possible side effects of Abatacept?

  • A runny nose and a sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever and chills
  • Skin rash or allergies
  • Stomach symptoms

What are the precautions in using Abatacept?

  • Do not share this with others who have the same medical condition as yours.
  • It is important to let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
  • If any allergic reaction occurs, call your doctor right away. Let your doctor know if you have any allergies or if you ever had an allergic reaction to this medication.
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether you should use this medication. This medication should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.
  • Tell your doctor if you are a breastfeeding woman. You may need to decide whether to breastfeed or take this medication.
  • Keep this in a clean place to avoid infection.