How do I take abatacept and how long does it take to work?
Abatacept may be given:
- either through a a drip into a vein (intravenous infusion) which takes 1–2 hours once a month, in hospital or at a special clinic
- or as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) once a week using a pre-filled syringe or pen. You, your partner, or another family member can learn to give these injections at home.
Speak to your rheumatology team if you're already having abatacept by infusion and wish to switch to injections – you'll probably start your injections when your next infusion is due.
If you're more than three days late taking a dose, ask your rheumatology team for advice on when to take your next dose.
It may be 6–12 weeks before you start to notice the benefits of abatacept. Because it's a long-term treatment, it's important to keep taking abatacept (unless you have severe side-effects):
- even if it doesn't seem to be working at first
- even when your symptoms improve (to help keep the disease under control).