Treating Psoriatic Arthritis

Treatment for psoriatic arthritis can relieve pain, reduce swelling, help keep joints working properly and possibly prevent further joint damage. Doctors will recommend treatments based on the type of psoriatic arthritis, its severity and your reaction to treatment.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the disease and preserve joint function and range of motion. Some early indicators of severe disease include onset at a young age, having many joints involved and spinal involvement. Good control of the skin disease may be valuable in the management of psoriatic arthritis. Some treatments are approved to treat both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Drugs for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis are divided into several categories:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen as well as prescription products.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may relieve more severe symptoms and attempt to slow or stop joint/tissue damage and the progression of psoriatic arthritis.
  • Biologics are highly selective DMARDs which target a particular agent of inflammation. Tumor necrosis alpha-factor blockers (TNF-alpha blockers) target a type of immune cell called a T-cell. A specific T-cell is associated with the inflammation of psoriatic arthritis. TNF-alpha blockers like Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Remicade (infliximab) and Simponi (golimumab) have all been approved for use in psoriatic arthritis.

    Stelara (ustekinumab) targets two proteins in the immune system called interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23). These immune system proteins, called cytokines, are associated with the inflammation of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
  • New oral treatments improve symptoms of psoriatic arthritis by inhibiting specific molecules associated with inflammation. Unlike biologics, which are derived from living sources and must be administered via injection or infusion, these treatments can be effectively delivered as tablets taken by mouth. Otezla (apremilast) has been approved for use in psoriatic arthritis

Complementary and Alternative

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional, or Western, medicine.

Learn more about Complementary and Alternative treatment options »

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