Advertisement

Stopping Psoriatic Arthritis Drugs May Cause Flare-Ups

Stopping Psoriatic Arthritis Drugs May Cause Flare-Ups

People with psoriatic arthritis may want to stop taking their disease-modifying drugs once the disease is in remission, but research suggests that’s a bad idea. Going off these types of medications, such as traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologics, could bring all the pain and stiffness back.

Find out what causes psoriatic arthritis flare-ups.

As many as 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints, causing pain, swelling, stiffness and potential damage. Disease-modifying medications can provide relief from these symptoms because they are designed to slow or even stop disease activity in the body. When there is little to no disease activity, this is called remission—but it doesn’t necessarily last.

Researchers followed 26 psoriatic arthritis patients whose disease was in remission. All of the participants were taken off of their disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or TNF inhibitor (a type of biologic drug) and monitored over the course of six months. Twenty out of the 26 patients (close to 80 percent) experienced their psoriatic arthritis symptoms return within about two to three months of stopping their medication. The study was published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

How psoriatic arthritis medication works
DMARDs, such as methotrexate, can help block your immune system from attacking healthy cells in your skin and joints. TNF inhibitors, such as Enbreland Humira, work to stop the proteins responsible for causing inflammation. What this small study suggests is that even though these drugs can help people achieve remission from psoriatic arthritis, they are still necessary for long-term control of the disease.

Explore your drug options for psoriatic arthritis treatment.

Understanding psoriatic arthritis
Some people with psoriatic arthritis have only mild symptoms with occasional flare-ups, while others have severe, continuous pain. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, treatment, especially early in the disease, can help prevent joint damage. Not treating psoriatic arthritis can cause joints to become permanently deformed and lead to long-term discomfort and disability. Unfortunately a large number of people with psoriatic arthritis forgo treatment because they experience unpleasant side effects. Discover other reasons why so many don’t get help for psoriatic arthritis.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

5 Strategies to Protect Your Joints from Psoriatic Arthritis
5 Strategies to Protect Your Joints from Psoriatic Arthritis
Manage Your Psoriatic Arthritis
Manage Your Psoriatic Arthritis
Everyday Psoriatic Arthritis Tips Your Joints Will Love
Everyday Psoriatic Arthritis Tips Your Joints Will LoveEveryday Psoriatic Arthritis Tips Your Joints Will LoveEveryday Psoriatic Arthritis Tips Your Joints Will LoveEveryday Psoriatic Arthritis Tips Your Joints Will Love
How to Stay Comfortable (and Productive!) at Work With Psoriatic Arthritis
How to Stay Comfortable (and Productive!) at Work With Psoriatic Arthritis
6 Signs Your Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Isn't Working
6 Signs Your Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Isn't Working
4 Facts About the Link Between Psoriasis and Arthritis
4 Facts About the Link Between Psoriasis and Arthritis
How to Increase Your Chance of Remission With Psoriatic Arthritis
How to Increase Your Chance of Remission With Psoriatic Arthritis
The Link Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Fatigue
The Link Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Fatigue
Get Fit Despite Psoriatic Arthritis
Get Fit Despite Psoriatic Arthritis
Foods That Help Prevent PsA Flareups
Foods That Help Prevent PsA Flareups
Protecting Your Heart When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
Protecting Your Heart When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
Less Pain, Better Heart Health: Reasons to Lose Weight When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
Less Pain, Better Heart Health: Reasons to Lose Weight When You Have Psoriatic ArthritisLess Pain, Better Heart Health: Reasons to Lose Weight When You Have Psoriatic ArthritisLess Pain, Better Heart Health: Reasons to Lose Weight When You Have Psoriatic ArthritisLess Pain, Better Heart Health: Reasons to Lose Weight When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
How Psoriatic Arthritis Affects Your Mental Health
How Psoriatic Arthritis Affects Your Mental Health
Healthy Hand and Foot Care Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis
Healthy Hand and Foot Care Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis
Does Psoriatic Arthritis Prevent Exercise?
Does Psoriatic Arthritis Prevent Exercise?
Best Sleep Positions and Pillows for Psoriatic Arthritis
Best Sleep Positions and Pillows for Psoriatic Arthritis
Aggressive Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment May Offer Relief
Aggressive Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment May Offer Relief
Psoriatic Arthritis Ups Your Gout Risk
Psoriatic Arthritis Ups Your Gout Risk
Psoriatic Arthritis: What Are the Symptoms?
Psoriatic Arthritis: What Are the Symptoms?
What is the Difference Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?
What is the Difference Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?
Why Early Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis is Critical
Why Early Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis is Critical
How to Avoid the Worst Foods for Joint Pain
How to Avoid the Worst Foods for Joint Pain
Fast Facts About Psoriatic Arthritis
Fast Facts About Psoriatic Arthritis
PSORIASIS: IT’S MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
PSORIASIS: IT’S MORE THAN SKIN DEEP