I was on Orencia for about a year, and it worked pretty good for me in a time of GREAT stress. Let me fill you in on the details of the med.
It is an infusion which takes about 30 minutes, so you would be in the infusion center for about an hour and a half total with all the setup and monitoring. Plan on it every 4 weeks.
MAKE SURE YOUR INSURANCE IS CLEAR BEFORE YOU GO FOR THE INFUSION!
So, you will need a TB test and pneumonia vaccine before getting Orencia, just like most infusions. The only pre-medication that I got for the infusion was Tylenol and two oral 25mg benedryl (which they let me skip at later infusions since it puts me asleep for 4 hours).
You will be set up with a basic IV and saline. Then, once the pharmacy gets their act together, the nurses will hook up the meds and get it in you. I have never had any reaction to the Orencia (outside of mass sleepiness from the benedryl), and I could drive myself to and from the infusions. BUT make sure that the first few times you go you have someone with you, just in case you do react to it (or you are like me and end up sleepified from benedryl).
After the infusion I felt fine, but gradually got more little tired over the next week. Not bad, I could still work half days on it, but I felt sort of worn out for a few days (more than normal).
One caveat: It took about three months to kick in. That is three infusions, and a long time.
I didn't have any increase in infections, which was good since my stress was rather high due to my husband (and me with him) going through: *deep breath* emergency surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and living out of hotels in San Francisco.
So it worked great for me, I had to stop because it slowly lost effectiveness, and I needed to get surgery on my sinuses for a 10 year infection (the orencia didn't make it worse, I just got tired of living with the infection).
I highly recommend it as a med, low side effects, quick infusion every 4 weeks, and highly effective for me. (If you have any more questions feel free to poke me, I have been on most of the biologics at some point in the last 7 years)
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