Types of JIA medications

There are many different medications for JIA. These medications cannot cure JIA. However, they can help keep it under control. Here are the main types of JIA drugs and their generic names (with common brand names in parentheses).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS):

• Naproxen (Napren)
• Ibuprofen (Neurofen)
• Indomethacin (Indocid)
• Diclofenac sodium (Voltaren)
• Piroxicam (Feldene)
• Celecoxib (Celebrex)
• Meloxicam (Mobic).

For more information on NSAIDs please see: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


• Prednisone
• Prednisolone (Pediapred)
• Methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol).

For more information on corticosteroids please see: Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid injections

• Triamcinolone hexacetonide (Lederspan)
• Triamcinolone acetonide (Kenacort)
• Methylprednisolone (Depo-Medrol).

For more information on corticosteroid injections please see: Corticosteroid injections.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs):

• Methotrexate (Methoblastin)
• Sulfasalazine (Salazopyrin)
• Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
• Leflunomide (Arava).

For more information on DMARDs please see: Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Biologic agents:

• Etanercept (Enbrel)
• Infliximab (Remicade)
• Adalimumab (Humira)
• Abatacept (Orencia)
• Rituximab (Rituxan)
• Anakinra (Kineret)
• Canakinumab (Ilaris)
• Tocilizumab (Actemra).

For more information on biologic agents please see: Biologic agents.

Most young people with JIA will be given NSAIDs as initial therapy.

If NSAIDs are not enough to control the JIA, and only a few joints are affected, your doctor may suggest a joint injection. This is a corticosteroid that is injected directly into the joint. However, if you have JIA in many joints, your doctor may give you one or more of the other drugs available. These may include corticosteroids or DMARDs. If the JIA is still not under control, then your doctor might suggest trying a biologic agent.

The other pages in this section will review each of these types of medication.


Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.

JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.

Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.

Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.

There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.

When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.

Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.

Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.

Whether you have JIA or not, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Find out how to stay healthy and active, learn about puberty and relationships, healthy body image, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Sometime between the ages of 18 to 22, you most likely will transition from your pediatric rheumatologist to the adult health care setting. At that time, there are a number of things you, your family, and your health-care team can do to help make this change go smoothly.