Making treatment decisions

Finding the treatment that will give you the most amount of relief from psoriatic arthritis symptoms may take time. No single treatment works for everyone and treatments can stop working over time. It is not unusual to try several approaches before you and your health care provider decide on one that is right for you. You and your rheumatologist or other health care provider will want to consider all aspects of a treatment, including how well it works, side effects, cost and how the treatment regimen fits into your lifestyle before deciding on a treatment approach.

The following are questions to help you and your health care provider determine the best possible treatment approach:

  • How long has this treatment been used for psoriatic arthritis?
  • What are the potential benefits of the treatment?
  • What are the potential risks?
  • What percent of people are on this treatment?
  • What percent of people improve on this treatment?
  • How quickly will the treatment work?
  • How long have you (the doctor) been prescribing this treatment?
  • What are the most common side effects of the treatment?
  • Will I be tested regularly for unwanted side effects? If so, what kinds of tests and how often?
  • Which side effects will go away if I stop taking the medication? Which side effects might be permanent?
  • Will I take or apply this drug continuously?
  • Can I use/take this medicine for a short time, just to bring my joint symptoms under control, then switch to a milder medication with fewer risks? Could I control my psoriatic arthritis this way?
  • Can this treatment be combined with another to make it more effective or decrease unwanted side effects?
  • Can this treatment be stopped suddenly, or do I need to stop it gradually?
  • Ordinarily, how long will the drug stay effective?
  • If it works but I have to stop using it, is it likely to work again if it is resumed?
  • What will the treatment cost?
  • If I decide against this treatment, what are my other options?

Special considerations for women:

  • Can I take it if I am trying to get pregnant?
  • Do I need to stop treatment if I am pregnant or nursing?

Read more about conception, pregnancy and nursing »