Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen as well as prescription products, are effective for many people with psoriatic arthritis in controlling swelling, pain and morning stiffness, and in improving range of motion in joints.

What Are NSAIDs?

NSAIDS can help reduce the limitations on daily activities often caused by psoriatic arthritis.

A partial list of NSAIDs:

  • Clinoril (sulindac)
  • Daypro (oxaprozin)
  • Feldene (piroxicam)
  • Indocin (indomethacin)
  • Lodine (etodolac)
  • Meclomen (meclofenamate)
  • Mobic (meloxicam)
  • Motrin, Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn (naproxen sodium)
  • Orudis (ketoprofen)
  • Relafen (nabumetone)
  • Tolectin (tolmetin sodium)
  • Voltaren, Arthrotec (diclofenac)

Which NSAID you use is a decision to be made between you and your health care provider. Though NSAIDs and aspirin generally do not significantly alter psoriasis skin lesions, they can be sufficient treatment for many people over time. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be added for pain relief; however, Tylenol does not relieve inflammation. Your health care provider may consider stronger medications when NSAIDs and aspirin fail to work and progression of the disease is evident.

COX-2 Inhibitors

While many people with psoriatic arthritis do not have problems with NSAID side effects, some NSAIDs carry a risk of causing stomach problems when taken in high doses or over long periods of time.

A type of NSAID called COX-2 inhibitors have proven to be less problematic for the stomach than other NSAIDs. The COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex has been approved for treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

COX-2 inhibitors are not necessarily more effective at relieving pain and inflammation than regular NSAIDs. They are more expensive and have their own risks. If you have psoriatic arthritis and you are interested in trying a COX-2 inhibitor, you should talk to your health care provider.

Learn More About Your Treatment Options

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Last updated on 10/08/20 by the National Psoriasis Foundation.

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