This medication is used alone or with other medications (e.g., methotrexate) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the body's own defense system (immune system) attacks the healthy tissues around the joints. It is usually used when other medications for rheumatoid arthritis are not successful in controlling the disease. Abatacept helps slow joint damage and reduce the joint pain/swelling so you can move better. It works by weakening your immune system and decreasing swelling (inflammation).
Headache, nausea, dizziness, flushing, stuffy head/nose, or cough may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: shortness of breath, change in the amount of urine, pain when urinating, severe abdominal pain. This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Tell your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat. The immune system is also important in preventing and controlling cancer. Very rarely, patients using abatacept have developed cancer (e.g., lymphoma, lung cancer). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as unusual lumps/growths, swollen glands, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, wheezing, persistent cough. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
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