Orencia (abatacept) For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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Orencia (abatacept) – a product of Bristol-Myers Squibb –  is in the news today.

ORENCIA® (abatacept) is a prescription medicine that can reduce signs and symptoms in adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) — including those who have not been helped enough by other medicines for RA. ORENCIA can further damage the bones and joints which can also reduce signs and symptoms in children and adolescents 6 years of age and older with moderate to severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

According to The Washington Post:

Children suffering from juvenile arthritis who haven’t had luck with other treatments may benefit from a drug called Orencia (abatacept).

The conclusions follow from a randomized trial of 122 patients aged 6 to 17 from 45 centers in Europe and in the United States. All participants had a history of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and had at least five joints with active disease. All had tried and failed at least one previous drug.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive 10 milligrams per kilogram of Orencia at 28-day intervals for six months or until the arthritis flared up, or a placebo given on the same schedule.

Just over half (53 percent) of patients on the placebo and 20 percent of those on Orencia experienced an exacerbation of their condition. The odds of a flare-up in patients on Orencia were only 31 percent of that for patients on the placebo. Side effects were similar.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) or juvenila rheumatoid arthritis is the RA that happens to children as the name suggests.

JRA or JIA causes joint inflammation for at least six weeks in children 16 years old or younger. From the Mayo Clinic on treatment and drugs for JRA:

Treatment for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis focuses on helping your child maintain a normal level of physical and social activity. To accomplish this, doctors may use a combination of strategies to relieve pain and swelling, maintain full movement and strength, and prevent complications.

Orencia offers what other treatments for JRA failed to do.

ORENCIA works in a fundamentally different way than any other rheumatoid arthritis treatment. ORENCIA works early in the RA inflammatory process at the T-cell level and can reduce the activation of T cells, which reduces the activation of other cells in the RA inflammatory process.

Visit Orencia‘s official website for more information. Talk to your doctor about it.

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