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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis - Medications

What to think about

Gold salts were one of the first treatments used for joint inflammation. You may still hear about them. But injected gold salts have been replaced by methotrexate for the treatment of JIA. Gold salts taken by mouth (oral) have not been shown to be effective for JIA.3

Some children with JIA gain significant benefit from early methotrexate treatment, and this treatment is becoming more common in an effort to prevent joint and eye damage. Early treatment with methotrexate is often used for polyarticular JIA.1

Biologic therapy is a newer option to treat JIA that doesn't respond to other treatments. Biologics such as etanercept have had some success in relieving symptoms and decreasing the number of flare-ups.

Combination therapy—such as using methotrexate with sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, or etanercept—has been used on a limited basis to treat JIA. Most medical experience with combination therapy is with adults. Only children with severe JIA that has not improved with methotrexate or sulfasalazine are considered for combination treatment.

If your child is on aspirin therapy

Yearly flu shots are recommended for children who are on long-term aspirin therapy. Children on long-term aspirin therapy who get chickenpox or the flu are at risk for getting Reye syndrome. Although there is a risk, Reye syndrome is very rare. Very few cases have been reported in children with chronic arthritis who were being treated with aspirin. If your child has been exposed to chickenpox or the flu, talk to the doctor about giving your child acetaminophen to control pain and relieve fever until the incubation period, or the illness itself, has passed.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 30, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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