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Volume 26, Issue 2, October 2015

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2015; 26(2): 44-53
Clinical use of subcutaneous Abatacept in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Authors Information
Rheumatology Unit, First Department of Propedeutic and Internal Medicine, Athens University Medical School
Abstract
Abatacept, a biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis acting through inhibition of T-cell co-stimulation, is the first drug of this group to be available for both intravenous and subcutaneous administration. In the present work, we critically review the results of the available studies on the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous abatacept. Although there is no sufficient evidence yet regarding long-term exposure to subcutaneous abatacept, studies show that the subcutaneous form of administration is as equally safe and effective as the intravenous form of abatacept. Immunogenicity does not seem to be an important issue, while a head-to-head trial comparing subcutaneous abatacept to subcutaneous adalimumab supports a similar safety and effectiveness profile of the two biologics. Given the importance of the administration route for choosing the most appropriate biologic drug in each case, the addition of a subcutaneous form of abatacept to the already available intravenous drug is very welcomed by rheumatologists that can now be more flexible in defining their patients’ treatment.