Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Doctors use a variety of drugs to treat adult Still's disease. The type of drug you'll take depends on the severity of your symptoms and whether you experience side effects.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen (Aleve), may help with mild joint pain and inflammation. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription. NSAIDs can damage the liver, so you may need regular blood tests to check liver function.
  • Steroids. Most people who have adult Still's disease require treatment with steroids, such as prednisone. These powerful drugs reduce inflammation, but may lower your body's resistance to infections and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Methotrexate. The medication methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) is often used in combination with prednisone, which allows the prednisone dose to be reduced.
  • Biologic response modifiers. Drugs such as infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel) have shown some promise, but their long-term benefit is still unknown. If other medications haven't worked, your doctor may suggest trying anakinra (Kineret) or rituximab (Rituxan).
Apr. 03, 2013

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