Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

With psoriatic arthritis, damage to joints and bones can occur quickly.

The key to successful psoriatic arthritis treatment is to treat the condition early before the symptoms have chance to worsen.

If you experience aches, pains and swelling in the joints you should visit your medical practitioner as soon as possible.

If you already have psoriasis there is even greater reason to get medical help as in most cases psoriasis of the skin precedes psoriatic arthritis.

Treatment Options For Psoriatic Arthritis Include:


NSAIDs - NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs are a type of painkiller often used for treating psoriatic arthritis along with other treatment options.

NSAIDs are often the first form of treatment offered by a medical practitioner. Non prescription NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen.

Older NSAIDs which may require a prescription include:

  • diclofenac
  • etodolac
  • nabumetone
  • naproxen
  • prioxicam

These older NSAIDs usually have a common side effect of indigestion. It is normally advised that they are taken with or shortly after food to reduce these side effects.

A newer type of NSAIDs may also be prescribed.

Known as Cox-2 inhibitors modern NSAIDs include:

  • Bextra
  • Celebrex
  • Vixx

Bextra and Vixx were linked to an increase in the number of heart attacks and strokes in people who took this medication.

Due to the potentially serious side effects of increased heart attack and stroke risk, only Celebrex is available in the United States.

Whilst Celebrex is still available it may also increase risk of heart attack and stroke.


DMARDs are disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and are more powerful than NSAIDs.

DMARDS are usually prescribed for more severe forms of psoriatic arthritis where treatment with milder medication has not worked.

DMARDs precribed for psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Cyclosporine - tradenames: Neoral, Sandimmune
  • Methotrexate - tradenames: Amethopterin & Rheumatrex

DMARDs can also be used as systemic therapy for psoriasis and work by suppressing the immune system. Immune system dysfunction has long been associated as a cause of psoriasis.

More powerful forms of DMARDs include:

  • Azulfidine
  • Imuran
  • Plaquenil

Disease modifying drugs can have adverse side effects more complicated than anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

In most cases patients who take DMARDs have regular blood tests.

Blood tests are taken so the patients physician can monitor the effectiveness of treatment and to check blood count and whether the drugs are damaging the liver or kidneys.