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Thread: Orencia

  1. #1
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    Default Orencia

    Hello everyone,

    Has anyone (Marycain) he he, ever heard of Orencia? That is another treatment my moma gets for her RA. She goes to get it through IV. Oh, Marycain, I did tell her about the Hyalgan being for OA and she said she knew that. They told her it would be for normal wear and tear on her knee.

    Anyone have any input on the Orencia. She has also taken Aravia(sp?) and not to much luck with that. Thanks .....hope everyone is having a good evening!

  2. #2
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    Hi, Camy - I'm not as familiar with the RA drugs as they are not commonly prescribed for lupus. Orencia works by blocking the activation of T-cells, which are a component of the immune system. In the clinical trials, Orencia is not very effective by itself, so it's usually prescribed with other medications like methotrexate. The biggest concern with Orencia is the risk of serious infections, which can be life-threatening. Orencia can also cause nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions. Like most of the other immune suppressing drugs, Orencia can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, especially lymphoma. The risk is higher if a patient has beern treated with TNF blockers like Humira, Remicade, or Enbrel - so some doctors will not prescribe Orencia to a patient who has previously taken TNF blockers.

    Orencia can take time to work, so if your mom has just started it, it may be several months before she sees much benefit from it.

    Arava ((leflunomide) is used to reduce swelling and inflammation in the joints, and can help provent joint damage. It's not effective for some people. Arava can cause a number of side effects, and some people don't tolerate it well for that reason. Side effects that should be reported to the doctor include:
    dark yellow or brown urine
    •diarrhea, especially if severe or does not stop
    •difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    •dizziness
    •fever or chills, cough or sore throat
    •increases in blood pressure, especially if you are being treated for high blood pressure
    •numbness, pain, or tingling in an arm, hand, leg, or foot
    •pain in the stomach or abdomen
    •skin rash or hives
    •ulcers of the mouth or difficulty or pain on swallowing
    •unusual bleeding or bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, nose bleeds or bleeding gums
    •unusual tiredness or weakness
    •vomiting
    •yellowing of eyes or skin

    Other possible side effects include:
    change in the taste of foods or drinks
    •changes in the appearance of the fingernails or toenails
    •hair loss (reversible)
    •headache
    •itching of the skin
    •loss of appetite
    •nausea, indigestion, or vomiting
    •weight loss
    •worsening of joint pain

    There are so many different arthritis treatments available now, it's hard to keep up with them. Hopefully your mom's doctor will come up with a treatment plan that gives her the most benefit with the fewest side effects.

    One good resource for information about RA treatment is http://arthritis.about.com/

  3. #3
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    Yes she does take Methotrexate also and has tried Enbrel and Remicade. Beleive me when I say she's tried them all, she has pretty much. She is just hoping this will work and sometimes feels there is not much else left to try.

    My sisters and I just try to take care and encourage her. She is a very strong woman and keeps bouncing back, so we will see how this turns out. Thanks Marycain for you input.

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