Still's Disease is a form of inflammatory arthritis that commonly hits people between the ages of 18 and 40, although it can occur in children. It is very much like lupus in its symptoms, which include high fever, rash, muscle pain, and aching, swollen joints. It is much rarer than lupus, though, affecting only one out of 100,000 people. What do we need to know about this unusual disorder?

  • Symptoms can be highly variable.  Some people experience the same symptoms consistently while others have varied symptoms that change over time. Patients who get fevers usually get them once a day for at least a week. They tend to peak in the late afternoon or early evening. Body temperature can return to normal between episodes. The fever is sometimes accompanied by a salmon-colored rash on the torso or extremities as well as muscle pain. Joint pain can occur for weeks at a time.
  • Still's Disease can cause complications.  Aside from being painful and uncomfortable, Still's Disease can wreak havoc in your body if it's uncontrolled. The condition may cause the destruction of your joints because of chronic inflammation. The most common joints affected are the knees and wrists. The disease can inflame the sac covering your heart-the pericardium-and lead to a disease called pericarditis. And you may also experience fluid build-up around your lungs.
  • Treatment varies depending on symptoms. Minor symptoms may be alleviated simply by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If you suffer from high fevers, joint problems or destruction of internal organs, you may need steroid therapy. Steroids, while effective in tamping down inflammation, may weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to other infections. You may have luck with Methotrexate, a drug typically given to rheumatoid arthritis patients. People taking Methotrexate can sometimes keep their Still's symptoms under control with smaller doses of steroids than they otherwise would be able to.
  • Still's Disease can go away. Unlike with many other chronic autoimmune diseases, the symptoms of Still's Disease can disappear entirely. Up to 40 percent of people diagnosed with the disease will see their symptoms go away anywhere from a year to several years after diagnosis, and they'll never suffer a recurrence. Some experience infrequent recurrences throughout their lives, and some live with constant symptoms throughout their lives.



International Still's Disease Foundation,