Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints. It is usually preceded by the skin lesions covered by dead skin cells associated with psoriasis, although in some cases, both conditions may appear together. Treating psoriatic arthritis involves relieving the symptoms of the condition, as there is no cure for the disease. For patients looking for treatment for the skin lesions associated with psoriasis, SkinCareGuide.com offers further information on the disease and its treatments. Patients should discuss all treatment options (those for skin lesions as well as those for joint pain and inflammation) with a licensed physician.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Common types of NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen. These medications may help to control swelling, pain and morning stiffness associated with psoriatic arthritis. Over-the-counter NSAIDs are readily available, although prescription medications may be recommended, as these are stronger and may be more effective in relieving symptoms.
Corticosteroids These are used to control infrequent joint pain and are usually used in mild cases of psoriatic arthritis. These medications may be taken orally, or may be injected directly into the joint. Injections of corticosteroids may provide almost immediate relief from symptoms, although this may cause damage so consult a doctor for more information.
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) This medication helps to reduce the joint damage caused by psoriatic arthritis. It is also effective in relieving symptoms of the disease such as pain and inflammation. These drugs act slower than others, so your physician may recommend other pain relievers to be taken in conjunction with these drugs.
Immunosuppressants These drugs work to suppress the immune system, as their name implies. In patients with psoriatic arthritis, the immune system not only attacks viruses and bacteria, but also attacks healthy tissue. Before taking immunosuppressants, patients should consult a physician, as these medications may have dangerous side effects because they suppress the immune system. The body may be more susceptible to infection as a result.
TNF-Alpha Inhibitors These are used to block the protein causing inflammation. Like immunosupressants, these medications are usually used only in severe cases of psoriatic arthritis. TNF-alpha inhibitors may cause serious side effects that may be life threatening so a consultation with a physician is highly encouraged for patients with psoriatic arthritis. Before taking any medication, patients are encouraged to discuss their options with a physician. Surgery is sometimes used for cases of psoriatic arthritis to ease the pain associated with the condition and to provide greater mobility to patients. Surgery is rare, however, in cases of psoriatic arthritis.