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Diseases and Conditions Self-Injection Videos

How to inject Orencia

October 10, 2017
How to inject Orencia

Orencia, also called abatacept, is a biologic medication prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and now, psoriatic arthritis. It comes both as an autoinjector/pen or as a prefilled syringe.  In previous posts we covered how to inject Humira, Enbrel, Simponi, and Cimzia as well as how to inject methotrexate.  In this week’s post, Dr. Farrell will teach us how to inject Orencia using an autoinjector and a prefilled syringe.

Preparing for your injection

  • Keep your medication stored in the refrigerator until use
    • Before injecting medication, take the autoinjector or prefilled syringe out of the refrigerator.
    • Allow it to warm up to room temperature.
  • Pick a place in your house that is clean and has room for your materials (such as the kitchen table).
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with either:
    • Soap & water
    • Hand sanitizer
  • Chose an area to inject – Thigh or Stomach.
    • Chose an area that is intact and clear.
    • It should not have any of the following:
      • Cuts
      • Scrapes
      • Bruises
      • Psoriasis patches
      • If you have extensive psoriasis, inject between patches
      • Moles
      • Scars
    • Please rotate area each time you inject (shown in picture below).

Areas to inject subcutaneous medication

  • Cleanse chosen area
    • Cleanse chosen area with either of the following:
      • Alcohol swab
      • Alcohol and a cotton ball
    • Use the chosen alcohol material to “swipe” area
      • Can either use a circular motion or wipe in “strips”
      • Allow the area to dry

Injecting Orencia with an autoinjector/pen

  • Observe the medication in the window to be sure that it is clear (no cloudiness or crystals)
    • You will see a small air bubble within the window, this is normal and will not cause harm when injecting
  • Remove the cap
  • Press the tip of the auto-injector down in the skin at a 90 degree angle until it is flush with the skin
  • Press button and hold for 15 seconds
  • Viewing window will turn yellow or blue, but continue to hold the button for the full 15 seconds
  • Lift the auto-injector straight up

Injecting Orencia with a prefilled syringe

  • Pull off the cap and observe the syringe to be sure that it is clear (no cloudiness or crystals)
  • Pinch the skin around the injection site and enter at a 45-degree angle
  • Press the plunger (slowly) to administer the medication
  • Once the medication is fully administered, the plunger will reach the bottom and a spring will place a cover over the needle

After the injection

  • Properly dispose of the entire autoinjector/pen or prefilled syringe
    • Sharps Container
      • Can be purchased at your local pharmacy
      • Disposal
        • Hospitals may take full sharps containers, ask first.
        • Pharmacies and Doctors’ offices are not allowed to take used syringes or needles
  • Discard remaining materials in the trash (cap, alcohol swabs, etc.)

For more information regarding Orencia, please follow this link.


Jessica Farrell, PharmD.  Clinical Pharmacist, The Center for Rheumatology/Associate Professor, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

With the help of Autumn Koniowka. Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate Class of 2018, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Megan Phillips. Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate Class of 2018, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

A special thanks to Tammy Garren, PhD. Instructional Designer, Center for Innovative Learning, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Image “medicine, diabetes, glycemia, health care and people concept – close up of woman with syringe making insulin injection to himself at home” by Syda Productions via Shutterstock

Injection site image: By British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Download this book for free at [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Medical Disclaimer

This information is offered to educate the general public. The information posted on this website does not replace professional medical advice, but for general information purposes only. There is no Doctor – Patient relationship established. We strongly advised you to speak with your medical professional if you have questions concerning your symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.


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