Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis: Medication, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Surgery Options, and More
There are several treatment options to manage symptoms, depending on the severity of the disease and your overall health.
Your doctor will recommend treatment according to the severity of your disease, the drugs you have tried in the past, and your overall health.
Psoriatic Arthritis Medicines
There are various over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis. These can be taken as a pill, applied topically, injected, or given in an infusion.
Nonsteroidal?Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Some common NSAIDs include:
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
DMARDs?work by suppressing inflammation-causing chemicals in the body. They can slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis and prevent permanent joint damage.
Most are taken by mouth. Side effects include liver damage, bone marrow suppression, and lung infections.
TNF-alpha inhibitors are biologic medicines that block a substance in your body known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF). They can help reduce pain and swollen joints.
Immunosuppressants work by acting on the immune system.
They’re taken orally and can increase your risk of getting an infection.
Steroids mimic?cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone that your body makes. They can be taken by mouth or injected directly into affected joints for temporary relief.
- Secukinumab (Cosentyx)
- Abatacept (Orencia)
- Ixekizumab (Taltz)
- Ustekinumab (Stelara)
- Upadacitinib (Rinvoq)
- Risankizumab-rzaa (Skyrizi)
Topical Skin Treatments for Psoriatic Plaques
Topical treatments are applied directly to the skin to treat itchy, uncomfortable?rashes?caused by?psoriasis. They come in creams, lotions, gels, shampoos, sprays, and ointments. Some are available OTC, while others require a prescription.
These products may contain the following:
Severe psoriatic arthritis can cause permanent joint damage. Sometimes surgery is necessary to replace or repair damaged joints.
- Hip replacements
- Knee replacements
- Foot surgeries
- Ankle surgeries
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Approaches
Some people with psoriatic arthritis are interested in CAM approaches to easing their symptoms. Rigorous research is variable, yet many CAM approaches are considered safe. Talk to your doctor before trying any new therapy, because there are some risks.
Popular methods include:
Lifestyle and Other Nonpharmacologic Approaches and Therapies
Some simple habits may improve your pain and joint damage.
Eating a healthy diet is vital for good health. Try to avoid foods that trigger inflammation, such as sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and saturated fats. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and lean meats.
Keep taking your medications, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping treatment can cause worsened symptoms.
Resources We Love
Favorite Orgs for Essential Psoriatic Arthritis Info
The Arthritis Foundation provides substantiated information and resources for those battling psoriatic arthritis. Their site offers opportunities for advocacy and community outreach. We like that you can get personalized exercise advice based on your condition and fitness level.
This organization’s site is chock-full of information about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. You can request a free flare guide, which includes a flare tracker to help you manage your disease and pinpoint triggers. Their?Navigation Center?also offers free and personalized assistance for patients, families, and caregivers.
This long-standing professional membership organization provides breaking news about the latest advances in psoriatic arthritis and other?rheumatic?conditions. The American College of Rheumatology serves more than 8,400 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. Their?Find a Rheumatologist?link lets you locate a doctor who specializes in your condition.
The Spondylitis Association of America offers resources for those with spondyloarthritis and related diseases, like psoriatic arthritis. From message boards to support groups, this organization has you covered.
With more than 20,500 members, the American Academy of Dermatology is the largest, most influential dermatology group in the United States. The organization focuses on education and advocacy for a wide range of conditions that affect the skin, including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
CreakyJoints is a digital community for arthritis patients and their caregivers. They offer education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research resources for people with all types of arthritis.
Favorite Psoriatic Arthritis Online Support Networks
TalkPsoriasis is the world’s largest online support community for people affected by psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Sponsored by the National Psoriasis Foundation in partnership with Inspire, this resource lets patients connect, exchange information, and make friends.
The Live Yes! Arthritis Network, sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, connects you with local, peer-led support groups. You can also exchange tips, ideas, and experiences with other people in the online forums.
Favorite Annual Psoriatic Arthritis Patient Conference
Each year, the National Psoriasis Foundation hosts a symposium that showcases the latest research. Attending a conference can help you connect with other patients and leading scientists who are studying cutting-edge treatments for your condition.
Favorite Apps for Psoriatic Arthritis
This app, developed by the Arthritis Foundation, allows you to track your symptoms, input your daily activities, and make charts that you can share with your doctor.
Flaredown is designed to help you identify what triggers your psoriatic arthritis flareups. You can keep track of symptoms, medications, activities, diet, and weather conditions.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
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