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  • 1-800-ORENCIA

The site is intended for US residents 18 years of age or older.

 

Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): ORENCIA® (abatacept) is a prescription medicine that reduces signs and symptoms in adults with moderate to severe RA, including those who have not been helped enough by other medicines for RA. ORENCIA may prevent further damage to your bones and joints and may help your ability to perform daily activities. In adults, ORENCIA may be used alone or with other RA treatments other than Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs), such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists.

The concomitant use of ORENCIA with other potent immunosuppressants [e.g., bDMARDs, JAK inhibitors] is not recommended.

Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (pJIA): ORENCIA® (abatacept) reduces signs and symptoms in patients 2 years of age and older with moderate to severe polyarticular JIA. ORENCIA may be used alone or with methotrexate (MTX).

The concomitant use of ORENCIA with other potent immunosuppressants [e.g., bDMARDs, JAK inhibitors] is not recommended.

Adult Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA): ORENCIA® (abatacept) is a prescription medicine that reduces signs and symptoms in adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). In adults, ORENCIA may be used alone or with other PsA treatments.

The concomitant use of ORENCIA with other potent immunosuppressants [e.g., bDMARDs, JAK inhibitors] is not recommended.

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FOR MODERATE TO SEVERE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA)

Understanding What Makes Your RA
Different Can Be an Important
Part of Treating and Managing Your Disease

It’s important to treat and manage your RA, as RA can cause joint damage and reduced mobility.

Your rheumatologist may collect many different pieces of information about you and your body. These pieces of information can be put together like a set of clues—building a bigger picture to help you and your rheumatologist better understand your RA.

Your rheumatologist is there to support you, so ask if these items reveal anything different about your disease:

  • Blood
    tests

  • X-rays and
    other scans

  • Background and
    medical history

  • Symptoms and
    physical exams

  • Blood
    tests

  • X-rays and
    other scans

  • Background and
    medical history

  • Symptoms and
    physical exams

Blood tests are one of the
ways that you and your rheumatologist can better understand your RA

Why are
blood tests
important
in RA?

What are some
blood tests
commonly used
in RA?

What next steps
can I take
to discuss
blood tests?

 

 

Why are blood tests important in RA?

Blood tests look for indicators
(sometimes called biomarkers)
that may be measured or found
in the blood. Different blood tests
look at different indicators,
and
may provide different information
about your RA.

Your rheumatologist can
use blood tests to better
understand your RA,
then decide on an
appropriate way to
manage your disease.

Rheumatologists can order blood tests and use their measured indicators, such as anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide) to better understand your RA

What should I keep in mind
about blood tests?

No single blood test can tell you everything. Your rheumatologist will decide which tests to order
and
what all of the results may mean for you.

Continue reading to learn more about how these
results can be used. It’s important to keep your rheumatologist informed about how you are feeling,
as this may help them decide which blood tests
to
order and when.

 

What are some blood
tests commonly used
in RA?

Blood tests for...

  • Anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide) icon

    Anti-CCP(anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide)

  • RF (rheumatoid factor) icon

    RF(rheumatoid factor)

May be used
to help...

  • Find out if you
    have RA
  • Understand whether you may be at risk of experiencing
    RA that could get worse quickly

  • ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) icon

    ESR(erythrocyte sedimentation rate)

  • CRP (C-reactive protein) icon

    CRP(C-reactive protein)

  • Check how much inflammation is in your body

Talk to your rheumatologist about whether
testing or reviewing for any of these items
may be important to help manage your RA.

Talk to your rheumatologist about whether
testing or reviewing for any of these items
may be important
to help manage your RA.

Anti-CCP is a substance found in the blood that may contribute to inflammation and joint damage seen in RA patients

Anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide)
is a substance that
may be found in the blood if the immune system is overactive.

It is generally only found in people who have RA. However, not all RA patients have anti-CCP.
Around 70% (70 in 100) of RA patients are positive for anti-CCP.

Anti-CCP may contribute to inflammation and joint damage seen in RA. Sometimes anti-CCP is called ACPA (anti-citrullinated protein antibody).

Scientists are still doing research to understand the role of anti-CCP in RA.

Rheumatoid factor is a substance found in the blood that may contribute to inflammation and joint damage seen in RA patients

RF (rheumatoid factor)
is a substance that
may be found in the blood if the immune system
is overactive.

It may be found in people who have RA, as well as people who have other diseases (such as
lupus, or Sjögren syndrome).
Keep in mind that not all RA patients have RF. Around 75% (75 in 100)
of RA patients are positive for RF.

RF may contribute to inflammation and joint damage seen in RA.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate measures how fast red blood cells sink to the bottom of a test tube, and indicates inflammation in the body when the speed increases

ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)
is a measurement of
how fast red blood cells (erythrocytes) sink to the bottom of a test tube. This speed increases when there is inflammation happening in the body.

ESR may increase because of inflammation caused by many different things—like an injury, an
infection, or a disease like RA. Keep in mind that an ESR test cannot tell you exactly why or where you
have inflammation.

C-reactive protein is a substance found in the blood when there is inflammation in the body

CRP (c-reactive protein) is a substance that may
be found in the blood when there is inflammation happening in the body.

CRP may be found because of inflammation caused by many different things—like an injury, an infection, or a disease like RA. Keep in mind that a
CRP test cannot tell you exactly why or where you have inflammation.

 

What next steps can
I take to discuss
blood tests?

Talk to your rheumatologist about how
blood tests may help you understand

your RA.Your rheumatologist is there to
support you, and is the best source of
information about your RA.

Keep copies of blood test results for
your own records. It is possible that you
may have already received some or all of
the previously mentioned blood tests.

Track how you are feeling using a journal
or a phone app. This may help you and your
rheumatologist manage your RA.

Ask your rheumatologist any
questions you may have at
your next appointment,
it could start a helpful discussion
about blood tests and exams.

Resources

Thumbnail for RA assessment tool

RA Assessment Tool

Use the RA Assessment Tool
to get a snapshot of your
life
with RA, and bring the results
to your rheumatologist.

Important Facts About
ORENCIA® (abatacept)

This is a summary of important information that you need to know in order to take ORENCIA safely. Work with the rheumatologist to make the treatment suitable and safe for you or your loved one. Keep this information, so you can refer to it before and during your treatment.

  • Look out for the following icons as you read:

  • Talk to your rheumatologist

  • Call a healthcare provider right away

  • Helpful information to remember

 

What is ORENCIA?

ORENCIA (abatacept) is a prescription biologic medicine for:

Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

ORENCIA is used to reduce signs and symptoms of moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis in adults 18 years and older. Taking ORENCIA may prevent further damage to your bones and joints, and may help your ability to perform daily activities. ORENCIA may help those who are not getting the results they need with other medicines for RA.

In adults, ORENCIA may be used alone or with other RA treatments other than Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs), such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists.

Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (pJIA)

ORENCIA is used to reduce signs and symptoms of moderate to severe polyarticular JIA in patients 2 years of age and older. ORENCIA may be used alone or with methotrexate (MTX).

Adult Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

ORENCIA is used to reduce signs and symptoms of active Psoriatic Arthritis in adults 18 years and older. In adults, ORENCIA may be used alone or with other PsA treatments.

ORENCIA should not be used with other strong medicines that affect the immune system, such as bDMARDs and JAK inhibitors.

  • ORENCIA is for adults 18 years and older with moderate to severe RA.
  • ORENCIA is for patients 2 years of age and older with moderate to severe pJIA.
  • ORENCIA is for adults 18 years and older with active PsA.
  • ORENCIA should not be used with bDMARDs and JAK inhibitors.
  • ORENCIA has not been studied in children under 2 years of age.
  • ORENCIA has not been studied in children for uses other than pJIA.

ORENCIA is available in two forms:

ORENCIA intravenous (IV) infusion is given by your healthcare provider through a vein in your arm.

  • ORENCIA IV is approved for patients 6 years and older.
  • ORENCIA IV has not been studied in children under the age of 6.
OR

ORENCIA subcutaneous (SC) injection is a shot that is given just under your skin. It is available as a prefilled syringe or a ClickJect™ Autoinjector.

  • ORENCIA SC prefilled syringe is available for patients 2 years and older.
  • PJIA patients may self-inject with ORENCIA or the patient’s caregiver may administer ORENCIA if both the healthcare practitioner and the parent/legal guardian determines it is appropriate.
  • The ability of pediatric patients to self-inject with the autoinjector has not been tested.
  • Talk to your rheumatologist about the best way for you or your child to receive ORENCIA.
 

What should I discuss with my rheumatologist before starting ORENCIA?

  • Talk to your rheumatologist about all of your medical conditions, including if:
    • You have any kind of infection, as you may have a higher chance of getting serious side effects from an infection while taking ORENCIA. Infections include:
      • Small infections (such as an open cut or sore) to whole body infections (such as the flu).
      • Any infection that will not go away or a history of infections that keep coming back.
      • Viral hepatitis, a viral infection that affects the liver. Tell your rheumatologist if you have or have ever had viral hepatitis. Before starting ORENCIA, your rheumatologist may examine you for hepatitis.
      • Tuberculosis (TB), a type of lung infection. Tell your rheumatologist if you have ever had TB or a positive skin test for TB, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has ever had TB. Before starting ORENCIA, your rheumatologist may check you for TB or do a skin test. Call your rheumatologist if you notice any symptoms of TB, including: a cough that does not go away, weight loss, fever, or night sweats.
    • You have allergies to the ingredients of ORENCIA. For a list of ingredients, see What are the ingredients in ORENCIA? in the Patient Information section of the Full Prescribing Information.
    • You have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a type of lung disease.
    • You have diabetes. Your healthcare provider may tell you to use a different way to monitor your blood sugar levels on the day that you receive ORENCIA IV infusion. ORENCIA IV contains maltose, which can alter the blood sugar readings with certain types of blood glucose monitors.
    • You have a family or personal history of skin cancer, or see any growths or changes in the appearance of your skin during or after treatment with ORENCIA. Some people treated with ORENCIA have developed skin cancer.
  • Tell your rheumatologist about all of your medical treatments, including if:
    • You are scheduled to have surgery.
    • You recently received or are scheduled to receive vaccinations. If you are receiving ORENCIA, and for 3 months after you stop receiving ORENCIA, you should not take live vaccines.
    • You are taking:
      • Other medications for RA, pJIA, or PsA.
      • Prescription medications or over-the-counter medications.
      • Vitamins or herbal supplements.
  • Let your rheumatologist know if you are a woman who is:
    • Pregnant or considering pregnancy. It is not known if ORENCIA can harm an unborn baby. If ORENCIA is taken during pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider before your baby receives any vaccines.
    • There is a registry for pregnant women exposed to ORENCIA. The purpose of this registry is to check the health of the pregnant mother and her child. Women are encouraged to call the registry themselves or ask their healthcare provider to contact the registry for them by calling 1-877-311-8972.
    • Breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if ORENCIA passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you use ORENCIA.

What should I avoid while I am on ORENCIA?

ORENCIA and other medicines may affect each other, which could cause serious side effects. You should avoid taking ORENCIA with other biologics that may affect your immune system. Doing so may increase your chances of getting a serious infection.

  • Tell your rheumatologist if you are taking other biologic medicines, such as:
  • Enbrel® (etanercept)
  • Humira® (adalimumab)
  • Remicade® (infliximab)
  • Kineret® (anakinra)
  • Rituxan® (rituximab)
  • Simponi® (golimumab)
  • Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol)
  • Actemra® (tocilizumab)
  • Talk to your rheumatologist and your other healthcare providers before you begin to take anything new or if you have any changes to your medications during your treatment with ORENCIA. It is a good idea to keep an up-to-date list of all of your medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements on hand to show your doctors and pharmacists.
 

What are the possible side effects of ORENCIA?

This is a list of some of the possible side effects of ORENCIA for your reference.

  • Talk to your rheumatologist about any side effect that may be bothering you. Your rheumatologist can work with you to manage side effects throughout your treatment.
Serious side effects

Serious side effects are those that may require medical treatment or hospitalization, cause permanent damage, or be life-threatening or sometimes even fatal. Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.

  • Infections. ORENCIA can make you more likely to get infections or make the infections that you have worse. In some cases, these infections have been fatal. Symptoms of an infection include:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Warm, red, or painful skin
    • Feeling very tired
    • Flu-like symptoms
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel sick or have any of the symptoms of an infection.
  • Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions can happen with ORENCIA. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
    • Hives
    • Swollen face, eyelids, lips, or tongue
    • Trouble breathing
  • Seek urgent medical attention if you have any of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
  • If you have the hepatitis B virus, talk to your healthcare provider as hepatitis B can become an active infection while you use ORENCIA. Your rheumatologist may do blood tests before treatment with ORENCIA to check if you have hepatitis B.
  • If you are receiving or are scheduled to receive vaccinations, it is important to know that:
    • You should not receive live vaccines while taking ORENCIA.
    • You can receive non-live vaccines, such as pneumococcal and inactivated influenza (flu) vaccines.
    • ORENCIA may also cause some other vaccinations to be less effective.
  • Talk to your rheumatologist about your vaccination plans.
  • If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you may experience breathing problems more often while taking ORENCIA. Call your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:
    • Worsened COPD
    • Cough
    • Trouble breathing
  • Certain kinds of cancer (malignancies) have been reported in people using ORENCIA. It is not known if ORENCIA increases your chances of developing certain kinds of cancer.

Most common side effects

The most common side effects of ORENCIA include:

    • Headache
    • Upper respiratory tract infection
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea

In children and adolescents, other side effects may include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Abdominal pain

These are not all of the possible side effects of ORENCIA. If you have any questions or want more information about side effects, ask your rheumatologist or healthcare provider.

If you experience any side effects and would like to report them to the FDA, you can call 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

How will I receive ORENCIA?

ORENCIA is available in two forms, as intravenous (IV) infusions and as subcutaneous (SC) injections. Work with your rheumatologist to determine the right treatment plan for you or your child.

ORENCIA IV infusion is given by a healthcare provider through a vein in your arm.

  • ORENCIA IV is approved for children 6 years and older.
  • ORENCIA IV has not been studied in children under the age of 6. 
    • You will receive your first three infusions 2 weeks apart from each other (Weeks 0, 2, and 4). After that, you will receive an infusion every 4 weeks.
    • Each infusion takes about 30 minutes, though actual time in the clinic will be longer.

ORENCIA SC injection is a shot that is given just under your skin. It is available as a prefilled syringe or ClickJect™ Autoinjector.

  • ORENCIA SC prefilled syringe is available for patients 2 years and older.
  • PJIA patients may self-inject with ORENCIA or the patient’s caregiver may administer ORENCIA if both the healthcare practitioner and the parent/legal guardian determines it is appropriate.
  • The ability of pediatric patients to self-inject with the autoinjector has not been tested.

If your rheumatologist decides that your injections can be given at home, you or your caregiver will receive training on how to prepare and inject ORENCIA. Do not try to inject ORENCIA until you have been shown the right way by your rheumatologist or healthcare provider.

Please click here to read the Patient Information in the Full Prescribing Information.

More Important Facts

Selected Important Facts About ORENCIA® (abatacept)

ORENCIA can cause serious side effects, including serious infections, allergic reactions, hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus, interactions with vaccines, respiratory problems with COPD, and cancer. Side effects of ORENCIA, which are considered common, include: headache, upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat and nausea. Other side effects in children and adolescents may include diarrhea, cough, fever, and abdominal pain. This is not a complete list of all side effects with ORENCIA. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects while taking ORENCIA.

For more information, please read the Important Facts throughout this website.