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Abatacept is used to reduce the pain, swelling and joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body’s own immune cells attack the normal tissues causing joint pain, swelling, and loss of function).

How it works

Abatacept belongs to a class of medications called immunomodulators. It works by blocking the activity of immune cells that cause pain and swelling/damage of joints.

Common side effects

Frequent urge to urinate, Abnormal urination, Back pain, Dizziness, Headache, Heartburn, Running nose, Sore throat, Nausea, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Before taking abatacept, you may be tested for tuberculosis (infection of the lungs due to certain bacteria) or viral hepatitis (infection in the liver due to a virus). 
  • Avoid contact with people who have cold or any type of infections.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any kind of infection.
  • Do not take any vaccinations while using abatacept and within 3 months after stopping abatacept treatment.
  • Do not take abatacept along with other rheumatoid arthritis biologic therapy.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as abatacept may causedizziness and visual disturbances.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is abatacept a biologic/ monoclonal antibody?
No. Abatacept is not a biologic/ monoclonal antibody. It belongs to class of drugs called immunomodulators.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)