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Abatacept - Mechanism of Action, Indications, uses, Administration, Side Effects

Chemical Formula:

  • C212H328N56O66S

Mechanism of Action:

  • Abatacept is a synthetic fusion protein composed of the extracellular domain of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and the Fc region of human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1).

  • It acts as a selective co-stimulation modulator.

  • The mechanism of action of abatacept involves inhibiting T-cell activation, which plays a central role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  • Abatacept binds to CD80/CD86 receptors on antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, and prevents the interaction between these receptors and CD28 on T cells.

  • By interrupting this co-stimulatory signal, abatacept inhibits T-cell activation, thereby reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines and attenuating the immune response.

Indications and Uses:

  • Abatacept is primarily indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  • It is used in adult patients with moderate to severe active RA who have had an inadequate response to other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate.

  • Abatacept can be used alone or in combination with methotrexate or other DMARDs.

  • In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, abatacept is also approved for the treatment of other autoimmune conditions, including:

  1. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA): Abatacept is used in children aged 6 years and older with moderate to severe active JIA who have not responded adequately to other therapies.

  2. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA): Abatacept is used in adult patients with active PsA who have not responded adequately to DMARDs.

  3. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS): Abatacept is used in adult patients with active AS who have not responded adequately to conventional therapies.


  • Abatacept can be administered as an intravenous infusion or a subcutaneous injection.

Intravenous Infusion:

  • The recommended dose for intravenous administration is based on body weight. Abatacept is typically given as an infusion over approximately 30 minutes at specified intervals, such as every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks. The infusion is usually performed in a healthcare setting under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Subcutaneous Injection:

  • Abatacept can also be self-administered via subcutaneous injection.

  • The recommended dosage and frequency of subcutaneous administration may vary depending on the specific condition and individual patient response.

  • Detailed instructions for subcutaneous injection should be followed carefully.

Side Effects:

Common side effects associated with abatacept include:

  1. Headache

  2. Nausea

  3. Upper respiratory tract infections

  4. Sore throat

  5. Cough

  6. Injection site reactions (for subcutaneous administration)

  • Other potential side effects that may occur but are less common include hypersensitivity reactions, serious infections, and malignancies.

  • It is important to monitor for signs of infection and discuss any unusual symptoms or concerns with a healthcare professional.

  • Abatacept can also affect the immune system and may increase the risk of certain infections, including tuberculosis.

  • Patients should be screened for latent tuberculosis infection before starting treatment with abatacept.

As with any medication, individual responses and side effects may vary. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for personalized information and advice regarding the use of abatacept, including specific risks and benefits based on individual medical history and condition.


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