Intravenous Abatacept versus Subcutaneous injections


Khan S, Martin U, Sheehy C


Rheumatology Department, University Hospital Waterford (UHW)


Abatacept is a selective T cell co stimulation blocker, used as a Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drug. The Rheumatology day ward in UHW, facilitates in-house infusions as well as follow up of patients on home therapy. Abatacept was initially available only for intravenous use but now can also be administered subcutaneously.


The aim of the study was to find out the views of the patients who had been treated with intravenous Abatacept in the hospital, and subsequently changed to subcutaneous injections (s/c) at home.


A retrospective study. 30 RA patients on Abatacept were included. An informed consent was obtained. The questionnaire was posted, with a stamped addressed envelope included. 21 patients responded, and their answers were analysed for the results.

A 5 points scales used
0: totally disagree, 1: disagree, 2: disagree/agree, 3: agree, 4: totally agree


Age: 37 - 82

Females: 14, Males: 7

Married: 12, Single: 4, 5 not specified

Housewives: 4, Retired: 2, Nurses:3, u/e: 3

Abatacept by Infusion helped their arthritis: 9: totally agree

Convenience: 4 totally agree, 6: disagree

s/c injections Confidence: 17 totally agree, 3: agree

Time: 2 totally agree, 5: agree/disagree

Instructions on sharp disposal: 16 totally agree, 4: agree

Prescription collection: 15 totally agree

Pain score: mostly painless

Likes: Staff’s interaction

Dislikes: Travelling to the hospital

Would like to go back to infusion: 14 No, 6 Yes


Most of the patients felt the switch was a quite convenient step, which had a positive impact on their quality of life. A small number did express their concern, regarding the responsibility of medications collection, storage, and missing the interaction with the staff.