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How is psoriatic arthritis (PsA) treated?

For people who need long-term treatment for psoriatic arthritis (PsA), there are medicines to help the joint pain, swelling and damage. There are four types of medicines.

First up are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs for short. NSAIDs help reduce the inflammation, so joint pain and swelling are reduced. NSAIDs come as tablets that work super fast. NSAIDs are best for mild arthritis. However, NSAIDs don’t seem to prevent the damage that the arthritis causes.

If needed, steroids can also be used. Steroids are usually given as an injection into a painful joint. They relax the immune system army so it doesn't attack the joints so much. Steroids help the pain and swelling, and they are usually used for joints that are inflamed all the time.

There's also disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or DMARDs for short. DMARDs stop the immune system attacking in the first place. They are used if the arthritis gets really bad. DMARDs slow down the damage caused by PsA, but aren’t a cure.

Biologics are a newer type of medication. They block the message that makes the immune system attack. Biologics come as an injection or a drip, and are used when DMARDs haven’t helped.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.