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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006 Nov 1;63(21):2065-77.


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  • College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.



The pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, indications, clinical efficacy, adverse effects, drug interactions, dosing, and administration of abatacept are discussed.


Abatacept is the first drug in a new class of agents known as selective costimulator modulators. Abatacept has been shown to decrease tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, which is important to the inflammatory response. Abatacept inhibits T-cell function but does not deplete T cells. Activated T cells are important in the inflammatory cascade, ultimately leading to joint inflammation and irreversible structural damage. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there is chronic inflammation of the synovial tissue lining the joint capsule. Abatacept is indicated for reducing the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients who have had an inadequate response to at least one disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. Studies in adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis have evaluated abatacept in patients with an inadequate response to either methotrexate or TNF-alpha blocking agents. One trial showed that abatacept produced a favorable six-month clinical response in patients who had previously failed to respond to anti-TNF-alpha therapy. In a study of concurrent abatacept and methotrexate therapy, the addition of abatacept produced favorable outcomes in patients who were not adequately responding to methotrexate alone.


Abatacept, a newly approved agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, has shown promising results in patients who have had an inadequate response to other treatment modalities. Abatacept therapy should be reserved for patients who have failed other time-tested treatment modalities, including TNF-alpha antagonists. Results from ongoing postmarketing studies will help determine abatacept's place in therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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