Approach to switching biologics in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a real-life experience.

Karadağ Ş. G., Demirkan F. G., Koç R., Çakmak F., Sönmez H. E., Aktay Ayaz N.

Rheumatology international, vol.42, no.1, pp.141-147, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-021-04854-y
  • Journal Name: Rheumatology international
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-147
  • Keywords: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Biologic agents, Switch
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The primary aim of the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is complete remission and minimizing the development of complications. Though biologic agents (BAs) provide better disease control, data related to BA switching patterns in JIA patients are scarce. This study aimed to determine the BA switching patterns in JIA patients. The study included children with JIA that received >= 1 BAs. Disease activity was evaluated based on the juvenile arthritis disease activity score 71 (JADAS71). Demographic data, clinical and laboratory findings, BA switching patterns, and the rationales for BA switching were recorded. The study included 177 (82 female and 95 male) JIA patients that received >= 1 BAs. Mean age at diagnosis of JIA was 9.1 +/- 4.9 years. BAs were prescribed a median of 14 months (range: 3-66 months) after diagnosis. Among the 177 patients, 31 (17.5%) required BA switching a median 10.5 months (range: 3-38 months) after initiation of the first BA. Among all the BAs that were switched to after administration of the first BA, tocilizumab was the most commonly switched (n = 15). The most common reason for BA switching was inadequate response (n = 29). BAs were switched 2 times in 5 patients and 3 times in 1 patient. When patients that switched BAs 1 time were compared to those that switched 2 and 3 times there were not any differences in terms of JIA types, whereas those that switched 2 and 3 times had a higher active joint count and JADAS71 score after 6 months of initiation of the first BA. As some of the JIA patients could not achieve remission despite using the prescribed BA, BA switching was required. Herein, we provide data on both BA switching patterns and requirements, which may improve the management of JIA patients.