How SJIA is diagnosed
Rheumatologists can diagnose systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or SJIA, using a number of methods, including identifying the key signs and symptoms.
It’s important to know that there is no special test to diagnose SJIA. Many times, a doctor will look at all the signs and symptoms your child has, and then rule out various diseases before reaching a diagnosis. This can take time and may involve many other tests, so please be patient with your child’s doctor—he or she only wants to be absolutely sure the diagnosis of SJIA is correct.
And keep in mind, your child's signs and symptoms may come and go, and they might not all happen at the same time. Your child's doctor will ultimately be able to determine whether your child has SJIA.
What SJIA can lead to
SJIA is a serious disease. Even with treatment, children may feel the negative effects of SJIA throughout their lives. Talk with your child's doctor about what can happen if SJIA is left untreated.
SJIA may continue into adulthood and cause problems later in life. Complications associated with the disease can be fatal. Your child's doctor may be able to give you more information about the treatment of SJIA and what to do if the disease progresses into adulthood.
Your child has options, but which one is the right one?
Your child may already be taking medications that aren’t approved for systemic JIA (SJIA). These may include:
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen
- Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, or DMARDs, such as methotrexate
Your child’s doctor may also recommend steroids or biologics. Biologics are another class of drugs being used to treat different types of arthritis and are specially designed to target the immune system. ACTEMRA is a biologic treatment, and it’s the first FDA-approved treatment for SJIA.
Important Side Effect Information | Serious infections
ACTEMRA changes the way your immune system works. This can make you more likely to get infections or make any current infection worse. Some people have serious infections while taking ACTEMRA, including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your healthcare provider should test you for TB before starting and during treatment with ACTEMRA.
Before starting ACTEMRA, tell your healthcare provider if you have:
- an infection, think you may have an infection, are being treated for an infection, or get a lot of infections that return. Symptoms of an infection, with or without a fever, include sweating or chills; shortness of breath; warm, red or painful skin or sores on your body; feeling very tired; muscle aches; blood in phlegm; diarrhea or stomach pain; cough; weight loss; burning when you urinate or urinating more than normal
- any of the following conditions that may give you a higher chance of getting infections: diabetes, HIV, or a weak immune system
- tuberculosis (TB), or have been in close contact with someone with TB
- live or have lived, or have traveled to certain parts of the United States where there is an increased chance of getting fungal infections. These parts include the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Southwest
- hepatitis B or have had hepatitis B
Who should not take ACTEMRA?
Do not take ACTEMRA if you are allergic to tocilizumab, or any of the ingredients in ACTEMRA.
Please see Important Safety and Side Effect Information. For additional Important Safety Information, please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide.