Still's Disease - Treatment

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What is the treatment for Still's disease?

Still's disease can cause serious damage to the joints, particularly the wrists. It can also impair the function of the heart and lungs. Treatment of Still's disease is directed toward the individual areas of inflammation. Many symptoms are often controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or other nonsteroidal drugs (NSAIDs). It has been reported that some patients with Still's disease can frequently have elevations of liver function blood tests as a side effect of aspirin and sometimes other anti-inflammatory medications. Cortisone medications (steroids) such as prednisone are used to treat more severe features of illness.

For patients with persistent illness, medications that affect the inflammatory aspects of the immune system are used. Medications now being used are analogous to the classic "second-line" therapies used for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These include gold, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), azathioprine (Imuran), methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan).

Most recently, because Still's disease has been found to involve a specific chemical messenger of inflammation known as interleukin 1 (IL-1), the injectable biologic medication anakinra (Kineret), which blocks IL-1, has been found to be an effective treatment for Still's disease.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: pebbles, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I have had pain and fevers with a rash for almost 10 years. Most doctors thought I was crazy because my Rheumatoid Factor always came back negative as well as the ANA test for Lupus. I was missing tons of work each year but I was finally diagnosed last year with Adult-onset Stills. I am being treated with Plaquenil and Methotrexate. I have been 90% better after receiving medications. Hardly miss any work now and can now pretty much function normally. Thank goodness!

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Comment from: KJean, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have adult onset Still's disease. I was diagnosed nine years ago after months of doctors being stumped. For me, Still's is chronic. I've been on prednisone all nine years (now down to 20 mg.), 30 mg. methotrexate, and 2 daily shots of Kineret but I still get fevers almost daily, sometimes twice, severe fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. I've tried and failed Enbrel, Cimzia, Actemra, and Humira. It is a life changing and destroying illness - I had to drop to part-time work, and then file for disability two years ago. Filed for bankruptcy. I have lost much of my mobility.

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