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21-11-2017 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Tocilizumab promising in short and long term for severe JIA-associated uveitis

medwireNews: The anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab improves ocular outcomes in the short and long term in patients with severe uveitis related to juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), indicates research presented at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, USA.

Among 25 patients with refractory uveitis, tocilizumab treatment – given alongside conventional immunosuppressive agents in 22 – led to improvements in all outcome measures, including anterior chamber and vitreous inflammation, visual acuity, and macular thickness. Improvements were seen as early as 2 weeks’ post-initiation for some measures and lasted up to the 3-year mark for all.

There was also a significant reduction in the daily prednisone dose over the 3-year period, from a median of 10 mg to 0 mg, Nuria Vegas-Revenga (Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain) reported on behalf of her co-authors.

She concluded that tocilizumab is “useful” for the treatment of JIA-associated severe uveitis.

Study participants were recruited from eight Spanish hospitals and had an inadequate response or intolerance to prior corticosteroids and at least one conventional immunosuppressive agent, including biologic therapy. They received intravenous tocilizumab 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks, although four patients required dose modifications, with two receiving treatment every 2 weeks and one every 8 weeks, while one was given a subcutaneous preparation at a dose of 2.9 mg/kg weekly.

By Shreeya Nanda

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