Treatment of psoriatic arthritis

Rheumatologists are the experts in diagnosing and treating psoriatic arthritis.1,2

Although psoriatic arthritis can be a serious disease, there are various treatment options available – whether you have mild or more severe symptoms3

The approach your doctor takes will depend on several factors, including the severity of your psoriatic arthritis3,4

There are different options for treating psoriatic arthritis3,4*^

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • By reducing the inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis, joints become less swollen, painful and stiff. Such treatments can be bought from your local pharmacy, or stronger versions may be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Corticosteroids
  • Corticosteroids, often referred to as steroids, also reduce inflammation and swelling. They can be taken orally or administered as local injections into the joints when a few joints are affected. Steroids are not recommended for the long-term treatment of psoriatic arthritis.
  • Conventional Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
  • These treatments help relieve joint pain and stiffness, and may slow the joint damage of psoriatic arthritis. DMARDs can be prescribed by themselves or sometimes in combination with other treatments.
  • Biologic treatments
  • These are more recently available DMARDs, which work with your immune system by targeting the specific cause of inflammation. These treatments may relieve skin and joint symptoms but also help prevent further joint and bone damage. Your doctor may recommend using a biologic in combination with other DMARDs.

*Each of the different types of medication has associated risks. If you are starting a treatment for psoriatic arthritis, you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the medication.

^There are also other therapies available for treatment of the skin.

  1. Haroon M, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;74:1045–1050.
  2. Helliwell P, et al. Arthritis Care Res. 2014;66:1759–1766.
  3. Fitzgerald O. 2013. Psoriatic arthritis. In: Firestein GS, et al. Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 1232–1268.
  4. American College of Rheumatology. Psoriatic arthritis. Available at: [Last accessed: November 2017].
  5. Gladman DD. J Rheumatol. 2009;36(Suppl. 83):4-8.