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Evaluation of Medication Withdrawal in Patients with Non-systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in Japan Using a Web-based Survey.

Modern Rheumatology 2024 March 6
OBJECTIVE: Although treatments for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have seen considerable advancements, there remains a lack of clear guidelines on withdrawing medications. This study aimed to investigate the current strategies for discontinuing non-systemic JIA treatment.

METHODS: A web-based questionnaire was distributed to Pediatric Rheumatology Association of Japan members.

RESULTS: According to 126 responses, the most significant factors influencing JIA treatment tapering were the duration of clinically inactive disease, medication toxicity, and a history of arthritis flares. Respondents were often cautious about discontinuing medication if symptoms, e.g., 'morning stiffness' or 'intermittent joint pain', persisted. Among subtypes, oligoarticular JIA was more amenable to treatment tapering, whereas rheumatoid factor-positive polyarticular JIA proved less amenable. Most respondents started medication tapering after a continuous clinical inactive duration exceeding 12 months, and >50% of them required >6 months to achieve treatment discontinuation. Additionally, 40% of respondents consistently underwent imaging before treatment tapering.

CONCLUSIONS: The relative risks of treatment continuation and withdrawal should be considered, and decisions should be made accordingly. To obtain improved understanding of and more robust evidence for the optimal strategies for safely discontinuing JIA treatment, it is crucial to continue investigations, including long-term outcomes.

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