Abatacept, marketed under the brand name Orencia, is a medication used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), among other autoimmune diseases. It works by inhibiting the activation of T-cells, which are a part of the immune system that can cause inflammation and damage in RA.

The primary use of abatacept is for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults, particularly in cases where there is an inadequate response to one or more Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), such as methotrexate. It can be used as a monotherapy or in combination with other DMARDs.

Regarding the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis, the concept generally involves delaying the progression of the disease in individuals at high risk or in the early stages rather than preventing the onset of the disease entirely. While abatacept has been studied in the context of early RA or undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis (conditions that may progress to RA), its role is more about altering the course of the disease and achieving remission or low disease activity rather than outright prevention.

Clinical trials and studies have explored the effectiveness of abatacept in early stages of RA or in individuals with high risk for developing RA, showing promising results in terms of delaying disease progression and improving outcomes. However, it’s important to note that the decision to use abatacept, especially in early disease or for prevention, would be based on a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional, considering the individual’s specific risk factors, condition, and overall health profile.