What Is the Safest Drug for Psoriatic Arthritis?

Reviewed on 7/21/2021

While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, drugs are used to treat the symptoms of pain and inflammation. Medications used to treat psoriatic arthritis may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), topical treatments, and immunosuppressants.
While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, drugs are used to treat the symptoms of pain and inflammation. Medications used to treat psoriatic arthritis may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), topical treatments, and immunosuppressants.

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can occur in patients who have psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes rapid skin cell growth and renewal. 

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. The drugs used to treat psoriatic arthritis are considered to have an acceptable safety profile by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Treatment depends on the patients’ symptoms and severity, and is aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing further joint damage. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and possible side effects of each drug to help figure out which is the safest drug for you. 

Medications to treat pain and inflammation may be used such as:

Treatment for more severe cases of psoriatic arthritis may include: 

What Are Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Skin rash (psoriasis)
  • Red patches of skin with silvery scales (plaques)
    • Commonly appears on the scalp, elbows, knees, and around the ears
  • Skin redness and warmth 
  • Scaly and itchy skin
  • Thickening skin
  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
    • Often on one side of the body
    • Pain is worse in the morning or after resting
    • Can affect any joint, but commonly occurs in large joints of lower extremities such as the knees and ankles 
  • Pain and stiffness of the neck and lower back
  • Back, hip, and shoulder pain
  • Reduced range of motion in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Heel pain and foot pain 
  • Sausage-like swelling of fingers and/or toes
  • Nails separate from nail bed
  • Pitted, crumbling nails
  • Eye inflammation such as pink eye (conjunctivitis

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Reviewed on 7/21/2021
References
https://www.psoriasis.org/

https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Psoriatic_Arthritis/default.asp

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/psoriatic-arthritis-beyond-the-basics

https://creakyjoints.org/

https://www.arthritis.org/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK115127/