Orencia is in a class of medications called biologics. Others in this class used to treat RA are Remicade, Humira, Enbrel, and Simponi. All of these medications work to inhibit production of certain parts or types of cells. They all lower the immune response. In people with autoimmune diseases like RA and Crohn's [which I have] it is thought that their immune systems are TOO active. In effect certain of our cells go into overdrive and attack our own bodies. The nurse was incorrect, Orencia does NOT kill your immune system. It lowers the immune response but for some of us this is a GOOD thing.
I have had fewer colds, infections, and other common community acquired illnesses since I have been on biologics. I started them in 2004. I have not used Orencia but have used three of the other medications I listed above.
You are smart wanting to get off prednisone. Long term prednisone usage can
open a person up to a host of other problems. Prednisone weakens bones, can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar, etc, etc. Hopefully when the weekend is over, others that have used Orencia will come along and give you their experiences.
Moderator Crohn's Disease & Osteoarthritis Forums
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, asthma, severe allergy and a host of other medical problems.