Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can range from mild to severe.  Without treatment, the disease can become disabling due to progressive and irreversible joint damage, which can lead to a reduced quality of life.    PsA is also associated with several health conditions or comorbidities that need to be monitored and that may also require treatment.   
While we still do not know what the best treatment is for a specific patient in terms of efficacy and safety, says Arthur Kavanaugh, M.D., there are a growing number of options to consider.     Choosing a treatment comes down to which domains of psoriatic arthritis are active – and of concern to the patient – as well as what other therapies have been tried, and whether comorbid conditions are present that might impact choice of therapy, explains Dr. Kavanaugh, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Innovative Therapy at University of California San Diego.
Treatment is aimed at reducing disease severity.   Patients will have regular follow-ups with a rheumatologist to assess treatment and adjust as necessary.  
“The goal is to get patients to how they felt before they were impacted by PsA,” Dr. Kavanaugh says.
Advances in the understanding of PsA have enabled the development of many new targeted treatments that aim to improve the signs and symptoms of disease, as well as minimizing joint damage and optimizing quality of life.   
A variety of drug and nondrug options are available to reduce pain, preserve joint range of motion, and help in stopping or slowing disease progression.    Treatments range from oral over-the-counter medications that reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling to injectable biologics and biosimilars (most are not yet available in the United States) that aim to mediate specific functions of the immune system thought to be causing inflammation and joint damage.