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Arthritis and Rheumatism

How Long Does it Take for Orencia to Work?

10/15/2008

Question:

I have tried all the biologics that are on the market. They have either stoped working or I was allergic to them including Enbrel, Humira and Remicade. I am on Orencia and waiting to see if that is going to work for a longer period of time for me, but I am having many side effects. I have two questions: 1. I have been on Orencia for six weeks, but it hasn`t started to work yet. How long does it take on average for it to start to work? 2. Are there any new medications going on the market to treat RA?

Answer:

In regards to abatacept (Orencia), I typically will wait 12 - 16 weeks after initiation of the medication to assess whether or not the patient has demonstrated a meaningful response to the medication. Alternative biologics that are FDA-approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) include anakinra (Kineret) and rituximab (Rituxan). Investigational agents that may make it to market in the near future with FDA-approval for the treatment of RA include tocilizumab and certolizumab.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University