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Medications > Abatacept IV | Orencia IV > Abatacept (Orencia) IV Pictopamphlet

ABATACEPT IV (Orencia) [Abba-TA-sept]

How to use this Medication

What is it

Some people with arthritis have special immune cells called T-cells that “turn on” and attack the joints. Abatacept is a biologic medicine that stops T-cells from “turning on” and helps the pain and swelling of arthritis.

Given by Intravenous Infusion

Abatacept is given by intravenous infusion once every 4 weeks.  The normal dose is based on your body weight.

Given Once Every 4 Weeks

You will receive an infusion on week 0, week 2, and then every 4 weeks.  Each infusion takes about 30-60 minutes

Give it Some Time

Although some patients can feel better quite quickly in others it can take a little longer.  Keep taking your medication.

What you Need to do

Don’t Take if You Have an Infection

Abatacept can make it harder for you to fight off infections. Call your doctor if:

  • You develop a fever
  • You think you have an infection
  • You are given antibiotics to treat an infection

Make Sure to Get Tuberculosis Testing

All patients should have a tuberculosis skin test & chest x-ray before starting abatacept. Talk to your doctor.

Get Occasional Blood Tests

It is important to have occasional blood tests to keep track of your arthritis.

Side Effects and Important Things to Know

Infusion Reaction

Abatacept can rarely cause an allergic reaction during the infusion.


Abatacept should be stopped before surgery.  It can be restarted once things have healed and there is no sign of infection.  If you are having surgery, talk to your doctor about when to stop the medicine.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Abatacept has not been studied in pregnancy.  Let your doctor know if you are planning to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

Emphysema / COPD

Abatacept can worsen symptoms of emphysema (COPD) and make pneumonia worse. Tell your doctor if you have emphysema or COPD.


Abatacept has very rarely been associated with developing cancer.  Tell your doctor if you have had cancer in the past.

When Should I call my Doctor

Please Call if you Need to Stop

  • If you feel sick and want to stop
  • If you are concerned about any side effects
  • If you want to or have already stopped the medication for any reason

Other Reasons to Call your Doctor

Fever or think you have an infection

If you are having surgery

If you become pregnant

If you plan to get any vaccinations

If you develop a rash