Current treatment options and safety considerations when treating adult-onset Still’s disease

Giulio Cavalli, Nicola Farina, Corrado Campochiaro, Elena Baldissera, Lorenzo Dagna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Adult onset Still disease (AOSD) is a rare systemic inflammatory condition. The clinical spectrum of this disease ranges from self-limiting forms with mild symptoms to life-threatening cases. Glucocorticoids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) represent the first line of therapy for AOSD, with add-on therapy with second-line drug reserved to steroid-dependent patients and in life-threatening cases. Currently, early treatment with conventional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents blocking causal cytokines is advocated in patients with severe and recalcitrant clinical manifestations. Areas covered: This review analyzes the available controlled evidence and observational data regarding the efficacy and safety of conventional and biological pharmacological agents in the treatment of AOSD. Expert opinion: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and glucocorticoids are effective in controlling clinical manifestations in the majority of AOSD patients. Conventional DMARDs can be 20 effective in some severe and steroid-dependent cases of AOSD; however, anti-cytokine agents represent an effective and overall more suitable alternative in this specific subset of patients. IL-1 and IL-6 blockade are effective in treating systemic and articular inflammation of AOSD patients. IL-1 blockade also has an excellent safety profile and therefore represent the first choice of biologic treatment in this clinical scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549-1558
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Adult-onset Still disease
  • anakinra
  • bDMARD
  • biologic drugs
  • canakinumab
  • safety
  • tadekinig
  • TNF inhibitors
  • tocilizumab
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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