Methotrexate in the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other pediatric rheumatoid and nonrheumatic disorders

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Nov;23(4):811-40. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70362-8.


The goal of treatment for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and other pediatric rheumatic disorders is to minimize joint destruction, pain, and deformity and to maximize all aspects of growth and development. Oral and injectable methotrexate are now often given early in the treatment of JRA, childhood dermatomyositis, difficult-to-control arthritis in the pediatric spondyloarthropathies, SLE, sarcoidosis, several of the vasculopathies, and idiopathic iritis. Weekly low-dose MTX has become a mainstay of long-term improved control of these disorders, and is associated with strikingly few documented long-term side effects. Dosages, pharmacology, side effects, efficacy, and treatment strategies are discussed. Although formal studies are lacking, MTX for the pediatric rheumatic disorders seems to be associated with less frequent physician visits, lower total costs, improved function, and fewer late reconstructive surgeries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antirheumatic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Humans
  • Methotrexate / pharmacokinetics
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Methotrexate