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Why is this medication prescribed?
Abatacept is applied to:
- Adults with rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints producing pain, swelling, and loss of function) may take it alone or in conjunction with other drugs to minimise the discomfort, swelling, difficulties with everyday activities, and joint destruction caused by the condition.
- Treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA; a type of childhood arthritis that affects five or more joints during the first six months of the condition, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) in children 2 years of age and older, either alone or in combination with methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Reditrex, Trexall, Xatmep).
- Adults with psoriatic arthritis (a disorder that causes joint pain, swelling, and skin scales) may use this drug alone or in combination with other treatments.
- Methotrexate is used in conjunction with a calcineurin inhibitor (such as cyclosporine [Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune], tacrolimus [Astagraf, Prograf]) to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a complication of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), a procedure that replaces diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow, in adults and children 2 years of age and older.
Abatacept belongs to the group of drugs known as selective costimulation modulators (immunomodulators). It functions by preventing the activity of T-cells, an immune cell type that contributes to swelling and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
How should this medicine be used?
Abatacept is available as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe or an autoinjector for subcutaneous administration as well as a powder to be combined with sterile water for intravenous (into a vein) administration (under the skin). When administered intravenously, it is often administered by a doctor or nurse in a doctor’s office or healthcare institution. A doctor or nurse may also inject the drug subcutaneously, or you or a caretaker may be instructed to do so at home. Abatacept is often administered intravenously to treat psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It is typically administered every 2 weeks for the first three doses and then every 4 weeks for the duration of the course of treatment.Abatacept is often administered intravenously to children aged 6 and older with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It is typically given every two weeks for the first two doses, and then every four weeks for the duration of the course of treatment. It will take approximately 30 minutes for you to receive your whole dose of abatacept if you are receiving it intravenously for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 6 years of age and older. Abatacept is typically administered subcutaneously once a week to treat polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children 2 years of age and older as well as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis in adults. Abatacept is often injected slowly over a period of 60 minutes the day before a hematopoietic stem cell transplant and then again on days 5, 14, and 28 after the transplant in order to prevent graft versus host disease.
Ask your doctor to demonstrate how to inject the drug if you will be injecting abatacept injection on your own at home or if a friend or family member will be doing it for you. You should read the manufacturer’s written instructions for use that are included with the drug, as should the person who will be injecting it.
Verify that the printed expiration date has not past before you open the packaging containing your medication. Examine the liquid in the syringe carefully once you’ve opened the packaging. The liquid shouldn’t have any noticeable coloured particles and should be clear or pale yellow in hue. If there are any issues with your prescription, call your pharmacist.
Your navel (belly button) and the region 2 inches around it are the only places on your stomach or thighs where you should not inject abatacept. If someone else will administer the injection on your behalf, they may also administer it to the outside of your upper arm. For each injection, choose a different location. Abatacept injection should not be injected into an area that is sore, bruised, red, or firm. Additionally, avoid injecting in stretch marks or scarred areas.
Before using, take the prefilled syringe or autoinjector out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Abatacept injection should not be warmed in a microwave, hot water, or exposed to sunlight. While waiting for the prefilled syringe to warm up, do not remove the needle cover.
Before you receive each dosage of abatacept, your doctor will give you the patient information sheet from the manufacturer to review. Before consulting your doctor, carefully read the information provided.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using abatacept,
- If you have an allergy to abatacept, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in abatacept injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- While using abatacept, be sure to let your doctor and pharmacist know what prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal items, and nutritional supplements you are currently taking or intend to use. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Infections that come and go, such as cold sores, as well as persistent infections that won’t go away should be disclosed to your doctor. You should also mention recurring infections of any kind, such as bladder infections, if you frequently experience them. Tell your physician if you have or have ever had any of the following conditions: multiple sclerosis, hepatitis B (a liver virus), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of lung disorders that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema; any condition that affects your neurological system. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and illnesses that compromise your immune system, such as cancer, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS, or severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, are all examples of these conditions (SCID). Additionally, let your doctor know if you have ever had tuberculosis (TB), a lung infection that can go unnoticed for a long time and can spread to other regions of the body. Also mention if you have ever come into contact with someone who has the disease. To determine if you have tuberculosis, your doctor could perform a skin test on you. If a previous tuberculosis skin test result was positive, let your doctor know.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had Epstein-Barr virus (EBV; a herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis and is linked to some malignancies) or cytomegalovirus if you are receiving abatacept to avoid graft versus host disease (CMV). In order to avoid EBV and CMV infections, your doctor may recommend that you take antiviral medications prior to, during, and for six months following your transplant.
- If you are breastfeeding a child or intend to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking abatacept.
- Inform the surgeon or dentist that you are using abatacept if you are undergoing surgery, including dental surgery.
- If you have recently had a vaccine or have one scheduled, let your doctor know. Without consulting your doctor, you shouldn’t get any vaccinations while on abatacept or for three months following your last dosage.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Call your doctor as soon as you can if you are receiving abatacept intravenously and forget your scheduled abatacept infusion.
Ask your doctor for a new dosing schedule if you miss a dose of abatacept when taking it subcutaneously.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Abatacept could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Clogged nose
- Abdominal pain
- Back ache
- Leg or arm pain
- Bruising, redness, and itching at the injection site
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing, hives, a rash, itching, and swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Breathing difficulty
- Fatigue, pale skin, and an erratic or fast heartbeat
- Indicators of infection such as flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, chills, cough, sore throat, and others
- Cough that is persistently dry
- Loss of weight
- Sweats at night
- Frequent urination or a quick, urgent need to urinate
- Discomfort while urinating
- Skin condition: swollen, heated, and red
Abatacept may raise the risk of developing several cancers, including skin cancer and lymphoma (a disease that starts in the immune system cells that fight infection). Even if they do not use abatacept, those who have had severe rheumatoid arthritis for a long time may have a higher-than-average chance of getting certain tumours. Throughout your therapy, your doctor will additionally examine your skin for any changes. Discuss the dangers of using this drug with your doctor.
Abatacept may result in additional adverse effects. If you experience any strange issues while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
To protect them from light and keep them out of reach of minors, keep the prefilled syringes and autoinjectors in the original box they came in. Avoid freezing while storing prefilled syringes or autoinjectors for abatacept.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to the abatacept injection, your doctor will request specific lab tests.
Inform the lab staff and your doctor that you are using abatacept injectable before to any laboratory test.
When administered intravenously to diabetic patients, abatacept injection may cause erroneously high blood glucose levels the day of the infusion. Regarding blood glucose monitoring tests to use while undergoing therapy, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.