Researchers determine two arthritis medications are safe and effective for children
An international team of researchers, led by Dr. Earl Silverman of The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids), has found that two arthritis medications (methotrexate and leflunomide) commonly used in adults are safe and effective in children. This research is reported in the April 21, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
"Our study showed that both methotrexate and leflunomide can be used safely and effectively in children. In fact, in our study both drugs had a higher response rate in children than the response rate reported in studies in adults," said Dr. Silverman, the study’s lead author, a rheumatologist and senior associate scientist at Sick Kids, and a professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. "A higher percentage of patients responded to methotrexate, so this would be the medication to try first in children, but leflunomide is a good alternative for patients where methotrexate doesn’t work or isn’t tolerated. Importantly, we have identified a new, safe, effective oral therapy for use in children with chronic arthritis."
The study also showed that a higher dose of methotrexate than previously thought can be used safely in children and that at the increased dose there was increased efficacy. Establishing drug dosages in children is more complicated than adults due to the wide variation in weight between a baby and a teenager.
Patients three to 17 years of age with polyarticular-course rheumatoid arthritis (where arthritis affects at least five joints) were recruited to the study at 32 centres in 13 countries. The children were given either methotrexate or leflunomide, medications that are DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), which work by altering the immune system. Methotrexate is the most commonly used DMARD in children. DMARDs are a stronger class of arthritis medications than NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
"Most medications are never designed for children and are rarely tested in children. However, children do get severe arthritis that requires medications beyond NSAIDs. The only way to properly assess a medication for children is through a randomized, controlled trial. The ’Pediatric Rule’, enacted by the U.S. Congress and supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has increased the number of drug trials in children with arthritis," added Dr. Silverman.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in more than one joint. It affects approximately one out of every 1,000 Canadian children.
Laura Greer | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...