Arthritis

07 April 2010

Long-Term Methotrexate Won't Help Kids With Juvenile Arthritis

Using drug for up to a year did not affect relapse rate, study found

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Longer treatment with the drug methotrexate doesn't reduce relapse rates in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) that has gone into remission, a new study finds.

The research included 364 JIA patients, median age 11 years, in 29 countries. They were randomly assigned to continue taking methotrexate for either six (group 1) or 12 months (group 2) after the beginning of disease remission, which meant that the children were temporarily free of persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness.

The median relapse-free time was 21 months in group 1 and 23 months in group 2. Of the 297 patients who stopped taking methotrexate while in remission, about 40 percent in both groups 1 and 2 had a JIA flare within a year.

"These data indicate a need for the stratification of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases to ensure that the intensity of treatment is adjusted to the patients' individual needs," wrote Dr. Dirk Foell, of the University of Muenster in Germany, and colleagues.

The use of methotrexate therapy in all JIA patients for longer than six months after remission cannot be recommended, they added.

The study appears in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about juvenile arthritis.

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules