Because there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, treatment aims to relieve the symptoms of the condition. Relieving joint pain as well as the red sores and silvery plaques on the skin is the most common goal of psoriatic arthritis treatment.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) (aspirin and ibuprofen for example) may be effective in fighting the pain, stiffness and swelling associated with this disease. Over-the-counter may be cheaper than prescription options, but prescription NSAIDs are usually more effective than over-the-counter options. Any medication should be discussed with a physician before taking it.
Infrequent flares of joint pain may be treated using corticosteroids. These may be taken orally or may be injected directly into the joint. Infections provide almost immediate relief, although in some cases they may cause damage.
DMARDs and TNF-Alpha Inhibitors
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) not only reduce inflammation and pain, but also limit the amount of joint damage that occurs. TNF-alpha inhibitors are used for severe cases of psoriatic arthritis. They work by blocking the protein that causes inflammation. They may also help to improve psoriasis. TNF-alpha inhibitors may cause side effects that may be life threatening and may cost thousands of dollars per treatment. These issues should be thoroughly discussed with a doctor beforehand.
As their name indicates, these medications work to suppress the body's immune system. This may leave the patient more susceptible to infection and are usually used only in severe cases of psoriatic arthritis.
Surgery may be used if these medications are not successful in relieving joint pain, inflammation and other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
Insurance carriers may cover psoriatic arthritis treatment, although patients are always encouraged to discuss the matter with the insurance carrier directly. Long-term costs may vary depending on the insurance carrier and the severity of the condition.
Eating healthy, exercising and leading an overall healthy lifestyle may also be helpful in relieving the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. These are cheap, cost-effective options and, if they work for you, may help you save money on medications and treatment.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about psoriatic arthritis and the cost of treatment.