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Pros and Cons of PsA Treatment

Pros and Cons of PsA Treatment

Whether you’re dealing with the occasional flare-up or experiencing pain all the time, if you’ve been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), it’s important to find a treatment plan that works for you. People who actively follow a treatment plan experience fewer flare-ups, less severe symptoms and less damage to their joints.

Still, PsA treatments can be costly, and some come with unpleasant side effects, leaving many sufferers asking, “is it really worth it?” and skipping out on treatment altogether. 

Read on to see how the pros and cons of PsA treatment stack up.

Pros of PsA Treatment:

Proper treatment can relieve painful symptoms and reduce joint damage.
Psoriatic arthritis sufferers often endure swelling, pain and tenderness in their joints. PsA can also cause all-over body stiffness, back pain and fatigue that can sideline you for days. Eventually, PsA can destroy the affected joints. Disease-fighting PsA medication helps to prevent the body’s immune system from attacking its own joint cells, reducing symptoms and helping to prevent further damage that can occur as a result of PsA inflammation.

Treating your PsA can help ward off other conditions.
Research has shown that people living with PsA are also at an increased risk for several other conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, depression, diabetes and even certain types of cancer. Keeping your PsA under control with treatment can reduce your risk.

Your PsA treatment plan can help you become healthier overall.
Medication isn’t the only part of an effective psoriatic arthritis treatment plan. Adopting healthy habits such as daily exercise, an anti-inflammatory diet, proper stress management and good sleep hygiene not only helps fight painful psoriasis symptoms, but also improves your overall health and wellness.

Cons of PsA Treatment:

Some PsA medications come with unpleasant side effects.
As is the case with most medications, the ones prescribed for PsA can cause some not-so-pleasant side effects. They can range from an increased risk of heart attack and stroke with pain-relieving NSAIDs to a weakened immune system and an increased risk of infection for biologics, drugs that block the immune attack on the joints. Despite this, it’s important to remember that side effects are usually rare, and you can avoid them by working with your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor about side effects you’re experiencing.

Treatments for PsA can be costly.
Psoriatic arthritis treatments don’t come cheap, and that can be especially tough for people who don’t currently have health insurance. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, specialty PsA drugs can run you anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per month, out of pocket. Luckily, lawmakers are working to lower the drugs’ costs, making them more affordable and accessible to everyone. There are also several resources available to help you manage the cost of treatment.

Despite the downsides, there are plenty of big benefits associated with treating and managing your psoriatic arthritis – not least a better quality of life. Talk to your doctor about crafting a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Medically reviewed in February 2018.

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