psoriatic arthritis treatment

Psoriasis affects millions of Americans.  It is an autoimmune disease in which the individual has autoantibodies that attack skin and connective tissue.

A small percentage of people with psoriasis will have involvement of the joint and will have a condition known as “psoriatic arthritis”.

Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis

There are over the counter and prescription-strength treatments for psoriatic arthritis.  Here are some good psoriatic arthritis treatment techniques:

Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication. This is for information purpose only.

Take Over the Counter NSAIDs

These include medications like ibuprofen (marketed as Advil and Motrin) and naproxen sodium (marketed as Naprosyn or Aleve). They act on the inflammation in the psoriatic arthritic joints so that pain is relieved.

They can be hard on the stomach, so you need to take them with food or milk.  NSAIDs can cause kidney problems in high doses so you should talk to your doctor before buying and taking an NSAID medication.

Take Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is marketed as Tylenol but the generic acetaminophen is just as effective.  It tackles the pain in the joints but does not help the inflammation of the affected joints.

This means it is less of an effective psoriasis arthritis treatment because joint inflammation is such a big part of having psoriatic arthritis.

It is much easier on the stomach when compared to NSAID therapy, so it is good for those who have had stomach problems, such as stomach ulcers.  Do not take it if you have liver disease as it can cause liver failure and death in high doses.

Prescription Painkillers

These are medications your doctor prescribes for pain.  Much of the time, this involves taking a prescription NSAID, which may be stronger than the over the counter variety.  It can also involve taking prescription narcotic pain, which is reserved for moderate to severe pain.

Because these narcotic pain medications can be addictive, your doctor may prescribe it to be used only as a last resort, when other pain relievers are not affective.  Narcotics also do not tackle inflammation, which is an important aspect of having psoriatic arthritis.

Disease-Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

These are medications that are designed to decrease the joint and soft tissue damage often seen in psoriatic arthritis. Several DMARD drugs exist:

Antimalarial drugs.  These are medications normally used for malaria that seem to have some effectiveness in reducing pain in inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Corticosteroids.  These are given orally or by injection and are designed to reduce inflammation in the joints.  They are not recommended for long-term use as they can cause stomach problems and osteoporosis.  They can also negatively affect your immune system.

Acthar.  This is a medication that can be used for the relief of severe inflammation of the joints as is sometimes seen in psoriatic arthritis.  It helps the body make its own cortisol by stimulating the action of the adrenal glands.

Imuran. This is an immunosuppressant drug. It suppresses the hyperactivity of the immune system so commonly seen in psoriatic arthritis.  Because it suppresses the immune system, it can decrease your ability to fight off diseases.

Leflunomide. This is an anti-rheumatic drug that can also be used in those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis.

Methotrexate.  This is a medication that suppresses the immune system.  It is widely used for the management of psoriasis arthritis pain as well as for rheumatoid arthritis. It can put you at a greater risk of infections because it suppresses your immune system.