Treats moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults and moderate to severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 6 years of age or older.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into a vein.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
- Do not use the medicine if the liquid in the prefilled syringe has changed color, or if you see particles in it.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. Throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can affect how abatacept works. Tell your doctor if you are taking adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, or tocilizumab.
- This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have cancer, diabetes, breathing or lung problems (such as COPD), any infection (such as the flu), hepatitis B, tuberculosis (TB), or are scheduled to have surgery.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
- Decreased ability to fight infection
- Changes in blood sugar levels
- You will need a skin test for TB before you start using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a TB skin test.
- Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
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
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, painful urination
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, tiredness, and body aches
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Weight loss
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back, leg, or arm pain
- Nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain
- Pain, itching, burning, redness, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot is given
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
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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