More Ways to Relieve Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Biologic Response Modifiers (TNF Inhibitors)
Children with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis who have received little relief from other drugs may be given one of a new class of drug treatments called biologic response modifiers. Etanercept (Enbrel®), for example, is such a medicine. It blocks the actions of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a naturally occurring protein in the body that helps cause inflammation. For this reason, Enbrel is also part of a class of medicines called TNF inhibitors (which is considered a subclass of biologic response modifiers).
Tocilizumab (Actemra®) is another biologic response modifier approved to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Specifically, it is approved to treat the polyarticular and systemic forms of juvenile RA. Adalimumab (Humira®) is another drug in this group, approved to treat the polyarticular form of juvenile RA.

The Importance of Exercise and Physical Therapy

Exercise is an important part of a child's treatment plan. It can help to maintain muscle tone and preserve and recover the range of motion of the joints. In fact, the more active a child is, the better his or her prognosis.
A physiatrist (rehabilitation specialist) or a physical therapist can design an appropriate exercise program for a person with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The specialist may also recommend using splints and other devices to help maintain normal bone and joint growth.
(Click Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise for more information on how exercise is an important part of treatment. Click Coping With Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis to learn about dealing with this condition.)
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Juvenile Arthritis

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