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Abatacept Brand And Generic Names

Therapeutic indications of abatacept


Abatacept is a drug indicated to reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Abatacept is a drug that improves the physical function in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. It may be used alone or in combination with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. For the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis abatacept may be used as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate. Abatacept may be used only with prescription. Read carefully the package leaflet in order to get better informed of the indications of administration, potential interaction with other drugs and other important information related to the use of abatacept. It is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to it or to any of its ingredients.

Dosage and administration


Abatacept is a drug available as intravenous infusion. Follow the treatment exactly as prescribed. It is recommended to administer the intravenous infusion at second and fourth weeks after the first infusion and every 4 weeks thereafter. The dose depends on the weight of the patient:
  • Less than 60kg- 500mg of abatacept or 2 vials;
  • From 60 to 100kg- 750mg of abatacept or 3 vials;
  • Greater than 100kg- 1000mg of abatacept or 4 vials.
For the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis it is also recommended to calculate the dose depending on the weight of the patient.
Instructions of administration:
  • Discard any unused vials;
  • Prepare the solution and rotate the vials with gentle swirling until the contents are completely dissolved;
  • Do not shake the contents;
  • Prior to administration, inspect visually for discoloration. If any particulate matter or discoloration is observed, discard the solution.

Warnings and precautions with abatacept

  • It is not recommended the concomitant use of abatacept and TNF antagonists due to experiencing serious infections. Prevent your doctor about the previous therapies and the drugs you used within the last 6 months. If the patient is transitioning from treatment with TNF antagonists to abatacept, it is indicated to report about any signs of infection.
  • There have been reported cases of anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions by patients on therapy with abatacept. If any signs and symptoms of hypersensitive reaction to abatacept are depicted, report about them right away, discontinue with the drug and treat the symptoms.
  • Patients with a history of recurrent infections are advised to exercise caution to the use of abatacept. There is an increased incidence of developing chronic or latent infections while on therapy with abatacept. Make checks on a regular basis and periodically evaluate the response to treatment.
  • Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with abatacept or within 3 months of its discontinuation.
  • Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are most susceptible to cough, rhonchi and dyspnea. Exercise caution to the use of abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and periodically monitor their respiratory status. If worsening of the symptoms is observed, discontinue with the drug and treat the symptoms.
  • It is not recommended the use of abatacept in pregnant women. If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while on therapy with abatacept, prevent your doctor right away. Clinical studies have demonstrated that abatacept crosses the placenta; therefore it may cause severe side effects. Discuss with your doctor about all possible risks and either discontinue with the drug or use an effective method of contraception.
  • Nursing mothers are advised to stop the breastfeeding while on therapy with abatacept. It is excreted into the breast milk and may cause harm to the infant. If the use of abatacept does not overweight the potential benefits with the potential harm to the infant, discontinue with the drug.

Possible adverse reactions with abatacept


Like most of the drugs, abatacept may cause adverse reactions when used in normal/prescribed doses. Generally, abatacept is well tolerated. However, there are patients who can experience severe adverse reactions while on therapy with this drug. The most common adverse reactions reported with abatacept were the following:
  • Headache;
  • Nasopharyngitis;
  • Nausea;
  • Upper respiratory tract infection.
The enumerated side effects are considered mild and moderate in severity. Generally, these side effects disappear after the first intravenous administration of abatacept. If the symptoms get persistent and bothersome, report about it immediately and treat the symptoms. If it is necessary, consult a doctor and decrease the doses to the lowest effective ones or discontinue completely with the drug.
The most serious side effects reported with abatacept were serious infections such as urinary tract infection, bronchitis, influenza, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia and malignancies.
Other possible adverse reactions patients may experience while on therapy with abatacept are the following:
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness;
  • Back pain;
  • Hypertension;
  • Nasopharyngitis;
  • Cough;
  • Dyspepsia;
  • Rash.
If any of the enumerated adverse reactions occur while on therapy with abatacept, get immediate medical assistance and care.

Potential interaction with other drugs


Prior to the initiation of therapy with abatacept, prevent your doctor about all medicines you are taking or have taken within last 6 months, including prescription and non-prescription ones, minerals, vitamins, herbal products and natural supplements. It is contraindicated the concomitant administration of abatacept with the following medicines:
  • TNF antagonists due to increased incidence of developing serious infections;
  • Other biologic rheumatoid arthritis therapy such as anakinra.

Overdosage with abatacept


Abatacept is administered under medically controlled conditions and the risk of overdosage with abatacept is absolutely excluded. Greater doses of abatacept do not appear to be toxic, however it is recommended to closely monitor the patient for the signs and symptoms of adverse reactions.

If you miss a dose


Not applicable for abatacept due to the fact that abatacept is used intravenously under medically controlled conditions.

Storage


It is recommended to store the abatacept in a clean and dry place at the room temperature below 30 degrees C. Avoid the direct sunlight, heat and moisture. Keep abatacept in its original package and out of the reach of children. Look carefully at expiry date on the bottom of the package. Do not use expired medicine. If you have any questions about the disposal ways of expired medicine or no-longer needed ones ask a pharmacist.
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