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BIOLOGIC ( abatacept )

I went to see my rheumy yesterday, and as I don't tolerate sulphasalazine, leffusamine or long term steroids, but still have mtx by injection but it is not holding the rd under control, he has recommended I go to abatacept, has anyone got any tips on this drug. Also he has referred me to see a podiatrist as he says that the padding on my feet has " slipped " they are so painful. Has anyone any tips!!

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Hi there,

Is this your first Biologic? If not I'm sure you've already had a Pneumococcal vaccine. I'm curious if they also gave you a shingles vaccine?

I'm also curious if you are anti CCP positive as it seems to work well for those who have these antibodies.

As far as Abatacept goes I have been on monthly infusions for over a year and it has been very good for me. I don't get any side effects whatsoever and we are now extending the time between infusions to every 6 weeks. Let's see how that goes....

I started with Abatacept (Orencia) plus 15 mg of MTX and have now dropped the MTX to 7.5.

One side note, however, is that it took a long time to really reach its full potential--close to 7 months for me. It's known to not be particularly fast acting but like everything else it varies between individuals so you may feel better much quicker than I did.

One big tip I can offer is to really look after yourself (not to say you don't already). Practice good nutrition, no smoking and try to move daily if you can, short walks, light stretching, swimming...anything you can do as I believe this all helps your body process the meds better.

I hope this works for you and you're feeling better soon!


Thanks Lucy, to answer some of the questions, yes this is my first biologic, yes I have had pneumococcal vaccine, no I have not had the shingles vaccine, I am not sure if I should have it as I got shingles in my inner ear a good few years ago and was hospitalised for several weeks. I am ccp positive. ( though I don't really know what this means ) I do inject with mtx 20 mg .i do try to eat well and take short walks but not every day, although I walk a lot around the house as sitting down all day gets to me, this is when I have taken several painkillers especially for my feet. Thanks again for your reply. X

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I would ask your doctor about a shingles vaccine as you cannot have it after you start a Biologic. You would have to wait until you are off the Biologic for some time and for it to clear you body to have a vaccine. Your doctor probably knows you've had shingles already but I'd remind him and see if he thinks a vaccine is a good idea for you. You can have the vaccine while on MTX just not with a Biologic.

I had horrible issues with the balls of my feet too-my RA started there. I was so worried. In the beginning I had to scoot on my bum in the morning to the toilet. Now I can run again, albeit, much shorter with Hoka shoes. I hope Abatacept clears up the issues with your feet too!

Good luck!

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Thanks I will ask my gp. He may not know that I have had shingles as I had to change my gp due to moving house but I will put him in the picture. I too are hoping the podiatrist sorts me out so that I can walk further. Xx

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