Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can often be relieved by using Orencia. However, the drug can also be used "off-label" for treating other medical conditions. These uses may include the treatment of psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, or systemic lupus erythematosus. The medication is not approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis in children.
Orencia® (abatacept) is a prescription medication that is approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that, for some reason, the immune system mistakes a person's own cells as invaders and attacks them, causing damage. As with other autoimmune diseases, scientists still do not know the causes of rheumatoid arthritis.
There are many rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, including chronic pain as well as tender, warm, and swollen joints. Treatment usually includes medications. There are four different types of rheumatoid arthritis medication, including:
- Analgesics (pain relievers), including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Biological response modifiers.
Orencia is a biological response modifier, which means that it targets (and "modifies") specific parts of the immune system. Biological response modifiers are commonly used to treat:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Some types of cancer.
Orencia is approved for use in people who have unsuccessfully tried DMARDs or other biological response modifiers.