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Psoriatic Arthritis – Medications

November 21, 2021


There are several treatment options available for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. The choice of the medication depends on the severity of your disease and your other medical conditions. You need to discuss the available treatment options with your rheumatologist. He or she will also provide you the potential side effects and how to monitor and minimize them. Based on these discussions, you and your rheumatologist need to find the right medication that fits you. This is called a shared decision making process, where your input is very important on what medication to choose from all those options. This helps you continue this medication long-term. This condition is a treatable disease, but not curable. You need to be a long-term treatment. In case of mild disease, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication could help. They will help reduce inflammation and reduce your pain. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis occur due to hyperactive immune system.

These medications work on multiple immune pathways to reduce the overactive and dysregulated immune system. These are broadly called disease modifying anti-rheumatic medication, also referred to as DMARDs. Some of these medications in this class includes methotrexate, sulfasalazine. There are newer, more effective medications called biologics, which target specific part of the immune system to control inflammation. This group of medications are very effective in controlling the disease and preventing long-term joint damage. They work through different immune pathways and reduces inflammation. One such group of medication is called anti-TNF. The TNF is a chemical mediator that causes inflammation. By blocking the function of this molecule, you decrease the inflammation and hence reduce symptoms of psoriasis. There are several FDA-approved anti-TNF medications. This includes Embrel, Humira, infliximab, Cimzia, and Simponi. There is another group of biologics medication called IL-17 inhibitors. The IL-17 is a molecule that is involved in inflammation. Cosentyx and Taltz are the two FDA-approved medication in this class. Medication blocking the function of other immune pathway called IL-12 and 23 are also effective in controlling the disease. Stelara is one of the medication in this group. Abatacept is another option that is approved to treat psoriatic arthritis. Apremilast and XELJANZ are unique options, as they are pill form biologics. In general, all of these medication decrease inflammation, working on different immune pathways.

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