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Guidelines for Juvenile Arthritis Treatment Published

Guidelines suggest drug therapies based on disease characteristics

THURSDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines for the treatment of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have been developed by the American College of Rheumatology; the guidelines are based on the best available scientific evidence and expert opinion and have been published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Timothy Beukelman, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues reviewed more than 200 JIA-related studies and evaluated more than 1,500 clinical scenarios to develop guidelines for initiating and monitoring treatment of the condition.

To streamline treatment, the guidelines identify five different JIA treatment groups based on disease characteristics. The guidelines address the use of multiple drugs, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intraarticular glucocorticoid injections, non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and systemic glucocorticoids.

"Guidelines and recommendations are intended to promote beneficial or desirable outcomes but cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Guidelines and recommendations developed or endorsed by the American College of Rheumatology are subject to periodic revision as warranted by the evolution of medical knowledge, technology, and practice," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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