How long does orencia (abatacept) take to work?

I've just done my 5th injection of orencia and my joints are still so swollen and painful. I think the drug is working a bit because I couldn't get out of bed a few weeks ago, I was sleeping all the time, that has improved. Has anyone any experience of abatacept by weekly injection, it's such a long waiting game. I have been advised it will take 12 weeks to take effect.

21 Replies

  • None, sorry but I do hope you start to feel benefits soon. I'm keeping a diary about things I can do that I couldn't do before I started enbrel. Not much yet, but one or two things worth noting. Like being able to open the loo cleaner which needs you to squeeze and turn at the same time. Child and RA sufferer proof!

  • Good idea keeping a diary, I have been doing that. enbrel was a miracle drug for me 9 years ago, completely changed my life but did take 12 weeks to feel effect. CRP went from over a 100 to 3. Hope it works for you cathie

  • Are you still on enbrel? I'm glad it's worked for you

  • no I had to come off Enbrel as it stopped working after 8years.

  • I did notice a difference fairly quickly (after 4-6 weeks) but then it seemed to plateau at a level that although is better than I was previously is still not enough to enable me to 'have a life'. Am due another assessment towards the end of May which will be about 6 months. I am not asking for normal as after 27 years do not know what normal is but something that I can more easily manage and not so up and down all the time. Farm

  • Are you taking the injections or infusion? Can't find many people on the injections, they are quite new. I have read that it can take up to 6 months to see full effect. We just want a managable, stable condition don't we? I understand what you are saying, I have had aggressive R.A for 14 years now, so many joints replaced, Enbrel has been the only drug that worked out of a long list. Hoping orencia brings some relief soon.

  • Mine are weekly injections - I think the self injections were approved by NICE around April time last year. There are a couple of others on injections that have posted during the last couple of months. Like you Enbrel has been the only other biological that has worked (around 8 years) and was on gold injections for around 7 years before that - tried Humira, Rituximab and Tociliuzimab over the last couple of years before starting Abatacept last November. Fortunately I have not had to have joints replaced yet but that will come. I am sero negative. I think like Smith7 I feel I am also in a better psychological position than before starting Abatacept but whether that is just because I am not as bad physically as I was before I don't know. S

  • I had my first infusion last week and same as you was told 12 weeks .. Ish ! but some people much better after only a couple of weeks. I am gonna whisper this but I do feel less tired and knees not so bad sssdshhhhh, maybe psychological lol , we will see. Good luck and we can clare notes. So far main problem is insomnia for me! Xx

  • Good sign if you are seeing some improvement. I feel less exhausted but that's all, joints are rotten. Hope it works for you, best of luck.

  • I wad due my 8th infusion but changed health authorities, waiting now to hear if New consultant will allow me to continue abacept. From what I am now feeling, I was definitely in a better place physically and psychologically on regular treatment.

  • Hope you can continue with the infusions. Good to hear it worked so well, it makes me feel a bit more positive reading your message, it's such a challenge waiting for these drugs to work or not.

  • when I moved from Oxford to Edinburgh I was on infliximab and it was automatic. Noone ever questioned that i should continue on the meds. I think that's your right!

  • when i started abatacept in injection form (via infusion for 6 months before that) in july last year it was a few weeks, maybe 6 before i felt any difference. but when it started to work it was just miraculous........i had been almost pain free until about a month ago when i had a flare up......the tail end of the flare is still there but nothing like it was at its height. for me abatacept has changed my life. i have to say the flare frightened me as Abatacept is my fourth bio....i'm beginning to get back to myself again. for me it is the best drug ever. i hope you find the same results. keep us informed about how you are getting on please. X

  • Really good to read how well you are doing on Abatacept, as I am in a really low state at the moment. It must be lovely to get your life back on track again, will keep you posted how I progress. Hope Abatacept continues to be the best drug ever for you.

  • I'm on the weekly injections, just had my 7th earlier this week. I'm not feeling any benefit yet, but my GP has another patient who is doing very well on it and she only started to notice a difference after a full 2 months, and it can take up to 3 months.

  • It's just such a long wait isn't it? How are you coping? My joints are just so swollen and painful, life has come to an absolute standstill and each day is a major challenge. Hope the injections work for you.

  • Probably had about 14 injections, I have had no flares and my fingers don't hurt as much, since being on abatacept.

  • Thanks for your post, it's encouraging to read when someone is gaining benefit from a drug. Can't imagine my fingers not hurting, hope the effect keeps on working for you.

  • I called in the cavary ie my previous Ra specialist nurse who spoke to my previous consultant, I say this with a great big smile as I have been asked what my weight is for an appointment in a couple of weeks time, for my infusion. Can't wait. Thanks for all responses.

  • Great news!!!, hope the treatment goes well for you

  • I just had my 13th injection and maybe this is all in my head but I woke up this morning and said "I feel normal". Energy-wise I think Orencia makes a big difference. I have AS, so it's slow to act and experimental, but it really did get me out of a pit of exhaustion. Fingers crossed it will start to knock down the joint paint and inflammation.

You may also like...