If you have a child or teenager in your care who suffers from inflammation of the joints, you’re well-acquainted with the frustrations this type of condition can bring to such a young person. Arthritis tends to be a term associated with older individuals, but this autoimmune disorder can also be disruptive to a child’s life. Such is the case with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
What is JIA?
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is arthritis that occurs in children and teenagers. It occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues in the joints and the synovium (the tissues that line the joints). It typically affects the wrist, hands, knees, and ankles, although it could cause pain and discomfort in all joints of the body. In addition, the child may experience fatigue, blurry vision, loss of appetite, and fever.
For some children, the condition is only temporary. For others, it becomes a lifelong ailment. In more severe cases, it could lead to growth problems and joint damage.
Infusion therapy is a viable option to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis when oral medications have failed to provide relief. It’s also a good alternative for patients whom an underlying medical condition makes it difficult — or impossible — to swallow pills.
Specifically, patients with JIA undergo treatment with medications known as biologic response modifiers with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. These reduce inflammation and prevent damage to the joints. In addition, since infusions go directly into the bloodstream, patients don’t have to wait as long for the medication to alleviate their symptoms.
What to Expect
When you visit any of our Infusion Associates locations, one of our healthcare professionals will meet with you to discuss the details of your infusion therapy. This includes information about the dosage and length of treatment, as well as to answer all your questions and concerns. You will then be escorted to a treatment room, where you will find cozy reclining chairs, blankets, TV screens, WiFi, and warm beverages. You may request a private room, bring your favorite snacks, and a friend or family member may keep you company.
Common Medications for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
There are several infusion medications that are used to treat patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. These include:
Side Effects of Medications for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
As with any prescription medications, infusion therapy carries the risk of side effects. They may vary depending on the person and the type of medication they’re taking. The most common ones include:
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Body aches
- Infusion-related reactions, such as itching or burning at the site of injection
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion Therapy, Let Infusion Associates Help You
At Infusion Associates, we provide medically-prescribed infusion therapy for patients with chronic conditions in a welcoming and friendly environment. Our team of healthcare professionals is fully committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible for you or your patients. We always inform patients of any potential side effects and answer all their questions before starting treatment. In addition, we have a Medical Provider on-site to make the process as seamless as possible.