The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1423
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Canakinumab (Ilaris) for Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

The FDA has approved the interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta inhibitor canakinumab (Ilaris – Novartis) for treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA; formerly called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or Still’s disease) in children ≥2 years old. Canakinumab was approved earlier for treatment of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). Tocilizumab (Actemra), an interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitor that has been available since 2010 for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults,1 was also recently approved by the FDA for sJIA. Canakinumab is the only IL-1 inhibitor approved for this indication.

THE DISEASE — sJIA is a severe sub-type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis characterized by daily high fever, evanescent maculopapular rash, and inflammatory polyarthritis. Complications of the disease include macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), which can be ... more      

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