What is abatacept?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Abatacept (Orencia) is a biologic drug that blocks certain immune system cells (T cells) that inflame and damage joints in RA. It is given as an injection, usually weekly. It is most often prescribed for people whose RA has not been controlled with traditional DMARDs, such as methotrexate. It is usually taken along with a DMARD. Because it affects the immune system differently than TNF inhibitors, it is sometimes used when a TNF inhibitor has not been effective. 

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