Generic Name: abatacept, Parenteral Solution

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SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for abatacept

Parenteral Solution
1

Abatacept is an injected medication that may prevent further rheumatoid arthritis damage to your bones and joints. It can also help reduce swelling and pain.

2

Your doctor may allow you or a caregiver to give your injections of abatacept at home. Don’t try to inject it until you’ve been trained by your healthcare provider.

3

Store abatacept in the refrigerator at 36°F (2°C) to 46°F (7°C), and make sure it doesn’t freeze. Keep it in the original package and out of the light.

4

Abatacept can increase your risk of infections or make infections worse. Symptoms of infection may include fever, tiredness, cough, and warm, red, or painful skin.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Live vaccine warning

You shouldn’t receive a live vaccine while taking abatacept and for at least 3 months after stopping the medication. The vaccine might not fully protect you from the disease while you’re taking abatacept.

Tuberculosis warning

Tell your doctor if you’ve had the lung infection tuberculosis (TB), a positive skin test for TB, or you’ve recently been in close contact with someone who’s had TB. Before you use abatacept, your healthcare provider may examine you for TB or perform a skin test. Symptoms of TB may include:

  • cough that doesn’t go away
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • night sweats

Hepatitis B warning

If you’re a carrier of the hepatitis B virus, the virus can become active while you use abatacept. Your doctor may do a blood test before and during abatacept treatment.

Drug Features:

Abatacept is a self-injectable prescription medication. It’s available as an under the skin (subcutaneous) injection prefilled syringe.

Why It's Used

Abatacept is approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The medication may prevent further damage to your bones and joints, and may help your ability to perform daily activities.

How It Works

Rheumatoid arthritis causes your immune system to attack normal cells in your body. This can lead to joint damage, swelling, and pain. Abatacept can help keep your immune system working well. It can also help reduce swelling and pain.

SECTION 2 of 5

abatacept Side Effects

Parenteral Solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with abatacept include:

  • headache

  • upper respiratory tract infection

  • sore throat

  • nausea

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • new or worsened infections. These include respiratory infections and urinary tract infections. Symptoms of infection may include:

    • fever
    • tiredness
    • cough
    • flu-like symptoms
    • warm, red, or painful skin
  • allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • hives
    • swollen face, eyelids, lips, or tongue
    • trouble breathing
  • cancer. Certain kinds of cancer have been reported in people using abatacept. It isn’t known if abatacept increases your chance of getting certain kinds of cancer.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Abatacept does not cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

abatacept May Interact with Other Medications

Parenteral Solution

Abatacept may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Biologics

These include:

  • infliximab
  • etanercept
  • adalimumab

You may have a higher chance of getting a serious infection if you take abatacept with other biologic medicines for your rheumatoid arthritis.

Live Vaccines

These include:

  • nasal flu vaccine
  • measles/mumps/rubella vaccine
  • chickenpox (varicella) vaccine

Don’t receive a live vaccine while taking abatacept and for at least 3 months after stopping the medication. The vaccine will not fully protect you from disease while taking abatacept.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with infections

You have an increased chance of getting a serious infection when taking abatacept. Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection, even if it’s small (such as an open cut or sore), or an infection that’s in your whole body (such as the flu).

People with tuberculosis

Tell your doctor if you’ve had the lung infection tuberculosis (TB), a positive skin test result for TB, or if you’ve recently been in close contact with someone who’s had TB. Before you use abatacept, your healthcare provider may examine you for TB or perform a skin test. Taking abatacept if you have TB could worsen the TB and make it uncontrollable. This could result in death. Symptoms of TB may include:

  • cough that doesn’t go away
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • night sweats

People with COPD

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may be at greater risk of worsening symptoms. These may include a flare-up of your disease, making it harder for you to breathe. Other side effects may include worsening cough or shortness of breath.

People with hepatitis B virus infection

If you’re a carrier of the hepatitis B virus, the virus can become active while you use abatacept. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests before and during your abatacept treatment.

Pregnant women

Abatacept is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Abatacept should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if abatacept passes through breast milk. If it does, it can cause serious adverse effects to a breastfeeding child. Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide whether to breastfeed or take abatacept.

Allergies

Abatacept can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take abatacept (Dosage)

Parenteral Solution

The following dosages are ranges for typical dosages only for the form of abatacept that you give to yourself under your skin (subcutaneously). Your treatment may also include abatacept that is given to you through a vein (intravenously) by your healthcare provider.

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Rheumatoid arthritis
Form: Subcutaneous injection prefilled syringe
Strength: 125 mg/ml solution
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The typical dose is 125 mg, injected once per week under your skin.

Child Dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Abatacept comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If You Don’t Take It at All

If you don’t take this medication your symptoms won’t be controlled and you could have worse symptoms, such as bone or joint damage.

If You Don’t Take It on Schedule

It’s important to keep on schedule to ensure that the medication has the same effect on your symptoms and condition. Not taking the medication on schedule could cause your condition and symptoms to get worse.

If You Stop Taking It

If you stop taking this medication, your condition and symptoms could get worse.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

This form of abatacept is given once per week. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Don’t take double or extra doses.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell this working if you have less pain and inflammation, and if you’re able to do your daily activities more easily.

This is a long-term treatment.

Important Considerations for Taking Abatacept
Storage Store in the refrigerator See Details
Refillable Prescription is refillable
Travel Travel See Details
Self Management Self-Management See Details
Stock Not every pharmacy stocks abatacept, so you should call ahead
Authorization Insurance See Details

Store in the refrigerator

Keep it in temperatures between 36°F (2.2°C) and 46°F (7.7°C). Don’t freeze the medication.

Keep abatacept in the original package and out of the light.

Safely throw away medicine that’s out of date or no longer needed.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Carry abatacept prefilled syringes with you in your travel cooler at a temperature of 36°F (2.2°C) to 46°F (7.7°C) until you’re ready to use it.
  • Don’t freeze abatacept.
  • Generally, you’re allowed to carry abatacept prefilled syringes with you on an airplane. Be sure to keep the prefilled syringes with you on the plane. Don’t put them in your checked luggage.
  • Airport X-ray machines can’t hurt this medication.
  • Keep abatacept in the original carton with its original preprinted labels.
  • Your healthcare provider may know about special carrying cases for injectable medicines.
  • If syringes don’t stay cool for an extended period of time, they may be dangerous to use.

Self-Management

Your healthcare provider may allow you or a caregiver to give your injections of abatacept at home. If so, you or your caregiver should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject it. Don’t try to inject abatacept until you’ve been trained.

If you inject this medication on your own, you should rotate your injection sites. Typical injection sites include you thigh or abdomen. Don’t inject abatacept into areas where your skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for abatacept.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does abatacept Cost?

Parenteral Solution
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for abatacept

Membership warehouse $3,243.40
Publix $3,254.76
Kroger Pharmacy $3,256.21
These represent the lowest cash prices for abatacept and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of abatacept near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for abatacept and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 27, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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