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There are a variety of treatments available for psoriatic arthritis, and it is important that you speak to you doctor to find the right treatment for you

What psoriatic arthritis treatments are available?

Psoriatic Arthritis treatments

Every patient has specific requirements and so the treatment and care provided will be suited to your individual needs. As a result, you may see different healthcare professionals at various stages of your treatment in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

These can include GPs, rheumatologists, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists; all of which can offer a range of services that include:

  • Medication
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Counselling.


The main medications used to treat psoriatic arthritis are summarised below.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Your GP may first prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to see if they help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Traditional NSAIDs
  • Physiotherapy
  • COX-2 inhibitors (often called coxibs)

Steroid medication (corticosteroids)

Corticosteroids can also be taken as a tablet, or as an injection into the muscle, to help lots of joints. Like NSAIDs, corticosteroids can help reduce pain and swelling. If you have a single inflamed or swollen joint, your doctor may inject the medication directly into the joint.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are medications that work by tackling the underlying causes of the inflammation in your joints. They can help to ease your symptoms and slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis. The earlier you start taking a DMARD, the more effective it will be.

It can take several weeks or months to notice a DMARD working. Therefore, it is important to keep taking the medication, even if it doesn't seem to be working at first.

Biological treatments

Biological treatments are a newer form of treatment for psoriatic arthritis. You may be offered one of these treatments if:

  • your psoriatic arthritis has not responded to at least two different types of DMARD
  • you are not able to be treated with at least two different types of DMARD

Biological drugs work by stopping particular chemicals in the blood from activating your immune system to attack the lining of your joints. Biological medication will usually be recommended for three months at first, to see if it helps. If it is effective, the medication can be continued. Otherwise, your doctor may suggest stopping the medication or swapping to an alternative biological treatment

Complementary therapies

There is not enough scientific research evidence to say that complementary therapies, such as balneotherapy (bathing in water containing minerals), works in treating psoriatic arthritis.

There is also not enough evidence to support taking any kind of food supplement as treatment.

Complementary therapies can sometimes react with other treatments, so you should talk to your GP, specialist or pharmacist if you are thinking of using any.

Find out more about treatments for psoriatic arthritis

A full list of the recommended treatments and other useful information can be found on the Psoriasis Association website (www.psoriasis-association.org.uk). By clicking on the website link the website will open. Abbvie cannot be responsible for the information found on these pages

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