Efficacy and Safety of Thalidomide as Adjunct Therapy in Refractory Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patients
AbstractAbout 50% of systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) patients run a recalcitrant disease course and resistant to the conventional disease modifying anti inflammatoy drugs (DMARDs), ultimately resulting in permanent disability from joint destructions. Thalidomide has been reported as an effective and safe drug in the management of systemic JIA due to its immunomodulatory properties. This was an interventional study, aimed to evaluate the efficacy of thalidomide in refractory JIA patients. Twenty five systemic JIA patients who were refractory to conventional DMARDs were included in this study. These patients were prescribed thalidomide at a dose of 2-3mg/kg/day for 12 months. Efficacy of thalidomide was assessed by using Wallace criteria at 6th month and 12th month of thalidomide treatment. Active arthritis was improved in 55% and 73% of the patients at 6th and 12th month of thalidomide treatment respectively. Fever and rash subsided in 72.8% and 81.2% of patients respectively at 12th month of follow up. Hepatosplenomegaly and lymphadenopathy regressed in 100% of patients at 12th month follow up. ESR was also improved in 50% and 68.2% cases at 6th and 12th months respectively. Few minor side effects were observed like transient elevation of liver enzyme and somnolence in this study. It may be concluded that thalidomide is safe and effective in refractory JIA patients.
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