Orencia vs. Actemra

Reviewed on 11/25/2019

Are Orencia and Actemra the Same Thing?

Orencia (abatacept) and Actemra (tocilizumab) are used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Orencia is also used to treat arthritis in children who are at least 6 years old. Orencia is not a cure for any autoimmune disorder and only treats symptoms.

Orencia and Actemra belong to different drug classes. Orencia is a recombinant DNA generated fusion protein and Actemra is an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor.

Side effects of Orencia and Actemra that are similar include headache, dizziness, and cold symptoms such as stuffy head/nose, sneezing, sore throat, or cough.

Side effects of Orencia that are different from Actemra include nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, indigestion, flushing, and back pain.

Side effects of Actemra that are different from Orencia include sinus pain, itching, mild stomach cramps, and urinary tract infection (UTI).

Both Orencia and Actemra may interact with anakinra, adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, and rituximab.

Orencia may also interact with tocilizumab.

Actemra may also interact with birth control pills, blood thinners, cyclosporine, digoxin, omeprozole, sirolimus, theophylline, abatacept, cholesterol-lowering medications, seizure medications, heart rhythm medications, drugs that weaken your immune system, and pain or arthritis medications.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Orencia?

Side effects of Orencia include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • stomach pain,
  • indigestion,
  • dizziness,
  • flushing,
  • back pain, or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy head/nose, sneezing, sore throat, or cough.

Serious side effects of Orencia include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Actemra?

Common side effects of Actemra include:

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Actemra including:

  • severe stomach pain with constipation,
  • bloody or tarry stools,
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds,
  • painful blistering skin rash with burning/itching/tingly feeling,
  • upper stomach pain,
  • vomiting,
  • loss of appetite,
  • dark urine,
  • clay-colored stools, or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

SLIDESHOW

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow

What Is Orencia?

Orencia (abatacept) is a recombinant DNA generated fusion protein used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and to prevent joint damage caused by these conditions. Orencia is also used to treat arthritis in children who are at least 6 years old. Orencia is not a cure for any autoimmune disorder and only treats symptoms.

What Is Actemra?

Actemra (tocilizumab) is an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in children and adults.

What Drugs Interact With Orencia?

There may be other drugs that can interact with Orencia. The prescribing doctor needs to know all medications (including herbals) that the person is taking. During pregnancy, Orencia should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if Orencia passes into breast milk or if it would harm a nursing baby. Breastfeeding is not recommended while using this drug.

What Drugs Interact With Actemra?

Actemra may interact with other drugs, including birth control pills, blood thinners, cyclosporine, digoxin, omeprozole, sirolimus, theophylline, abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, cholesterol-lowering medications, seizure medications, heart rhythm medications, drugs that weaken your immune system, and pain or arthritis medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you take. If you are pregnant, only take Actemra if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known if Actemra passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

How Should Orencia Be Taken?

Orencia is supplied in single use vials at a strength of 250mg per vial. Orencia is administered intravenously (IV) as a 30-minute infusion. Dosing is based on the patient's weight. Following the initial intravenous administration, an IV infusion is given at 2 and 4 weeks after the first infusion and every 4 weeks thereafter.

How Should Actemra Be Taken?

Actemra is given once every four weeks by intravenous (IV) infusion by your doctor. Actemra can be taken with or without methotrexate (or other DMARDs).

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References
SOURCE:

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Orencia Product Information.

http://www.orenciahcp.com

Genentech. Actemra Product Information.

https://www.actemra.com/

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