Treats moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults who have taken other medicines for RA. Also treats moderate-to-severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 6 years of age and older.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to abatacept.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Do not take other medicines for arthritis unless you talk to your doctor. This includes adalimumab (Humira®), anakinra (Kineret®), etanercept (Enbrel®), infliximab (Remicade®), or rituximab (Rituxan®). Using any of these together with this medicine may increase your chance of having serious side effects.
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have lung disease, any kind of infection, or if you are scheduled to have surgery. Tell your doctor if you also have tuberculosis (TB), or have had a positive skin test for TB, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has TB.
- This medicine contains maltose (a type of sugar) which may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and you notice a change in the results of your blood sugar tests or if you have any questions, check with your doctor. Your doctor may need you to use a different test for your blood sugar levels.
- Abatacept may cause a serious allergic reaction. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble with breathing; or chest pain after you get the injection.
- Your body's ability to fight infection may be reduced while you are being treated with abatacept. It is very important that you call your doctor at the first signs of any infection (e.g., if you get a fever or chills).
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches.
- Muscle pain and stiffness, weakness, or sweating.
- Painful urination, or change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Trouble breathing.
- Weight loss.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back, leg, or arm pain.
- Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, or stomach pain.
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot is given.
- Rash or blisters.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04