This medication is used alone or with other medications (such as methotrexate) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the body's own defense system (immune system) attacks healthy joints. Abatacept helps slow joint damage and reduce joint pain and swelling. It works by weakening your immune system and decreasing swelling (inflammation).
How to Use This Medication
Read the Patient Information Leaflet and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start receiving abatacept and each time you get a treatment. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This drug is given by injection under the skin of your thigh, abdomen, or upper arm as directed by your doctor, usually once a week. Your doctor may direct you to first receive abatacept by injection into a vein (loading dose) before starting treatment with this form of the medication. If you are switching from regularly scheduled injections into a vein, carefully follow your doctor's directions for when to start using this medication (usually instead of the next scheduled dose).
Remove this medication from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before injecting. Do not warm up this medication any other way. For example, do not heat it in the microwave or place it in hot water.
If you are using this medication at home, read and learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Do not inject into any areas of skin that are sore, bruised, red, scaly, or hard.
Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Never reuse syringes or needles. Consult your pharmacist.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when you need to receive the next dose.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
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