What Drugs Are Used to Treat Psoriatic Arthritis?
I'm a 38-year-old male who has dealt with psoriasis my entire life. I've recently been experiencing joint pain and am sure that it's probably psoriatic arthritis, which my father also had. Is my joint pain something that I can treat on my own using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, or should I talk to my healthcare provider first? What drugs are used to treat psoriatic arthritis?
Drugs used in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, meloxicam, and nabumetone
- Steroids, such as cortisone, injected into the joints
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as sulfasalazine, leflunomide, methotrexate, and cyclosporine
- Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF inhibitors), such as adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept, and golimumab.
Oral corticosteroids are not typically used, since they have the potential for causing post-steroid psoriasis flare and other serious side effects. Gold salts, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine are also not usually recommended.
NSAIDs decrease pain and inflammation in the joint, and many are available over-the-counter. However, they do not alter the course of the disease or significantly affect skin lesions. The other drugs, especially DMARDs, are thought to have an effect on slowing down the disease progression and helping to prevent further joint damage. Talk to your healthcare provider before you start taking any over-the-counter medicines for your psoriatic arthritis.