Psoriasis Arthritis Treatment Procedures

Currently modern medical science does not provide any cure to psoriatic arthritis but there are treatments available that are focused and designed to minimize the pain and stiffness caused by the disorder.

Most of the allopathic physician’s recommend following line of medication for Psoriatic Arthritis:

Medicine: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

These are given to reduce pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. However, they do not prevent further joint damage. They include coated acetylsalicylic acid, also known as ASA (Aspirin, Anacin, etc.) and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.), Naprosyn, Relafen, Indocid, Voltaren, Feldene, or Clinoril etc.

NSAIDs generally take several weeks before they show their effect completely. Although effective in pain relief, but they can cause stomach upset, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Elderly people, people with high blood pressure, people with kidney problems, people who have had a previous stomach ulcer, and people with congestive heart failure or those who have had a previous heart attack or stroke should talk to their doctor before taking any NSAID. NSAIDs can also interact with blood thinners such as warfarin. With the exception of small dose ASA for circulation problems, two different NSAIDs should not be taken at the same time.

COX-2 inhibitors (e.g. Celebrex) are a specific kind of NSAID that may be prescribed if traditional NSAIDs are hard on patient stomach, or if patient is having stomach ulcers. People who have had a heart attack or stroke or experienced serious chest pain related to heart disease should not use NSAIDs or COXIBs.

Medicine: Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS)

People with severe psoriatic arthritis are often given disease modifying anti- rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to stop psoriatic arthritis from getting worse. They take almost one to three months before making a difference in the pain and swelling.

DMARDs are often prescribed to relieve severe symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. These medications are designed to prevent psoriatic arthritis from getting worse, but cannot reverse permanent joint damage.

The most common DMARDs are gold salts, methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide (Arava®), hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and azathioprine. DMARDs are often given along with other medications such as NSAIDs. Common side effects of DMARDs are mouth sores, diarrhoea and nausea.

Medicine: Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are man-made drugs that closely resemble cortisone, a hormone naturally produced by the body. In RA, these drugs are used to treat extreme inflammation that is accompanied by severe pain and stiffness. They are also used to treat systemic RA, which may affect the lining of the lungs and blood vessels.

Corticosteroids sometimes are given as injection into one or more joints or other areas of inflammation. The injections may have their own harmful results on the joints if given more than a few times a year.

The most common form is prednisone, taken in pill form. Side effects from long term use may include cataracts, high blood pressure, sleep problems, muscle loss, bruising, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), weight gain and susceptibility to infections. The goal with this and most of the other drugs is to find the lowest effective dose that will avoid as many of the side effects as possible.

Medicine: Biologic Response Modifiers (“Biologics”)

Biologics are DMARDs that are made up of genetically modified proteins, based on substances that naturally occur in the body. They work by blocking specific parts of the immune system, called cytokines, which play a role in causing psoriatic arthritis. Biologics block one of two important cytokines, either tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or interleukin-1 (IL-1).

Biologics have been used for people with moderate to severe psoriatic arthritis, or for those who have not responded to conventional treatments. These drugs work quickly to ease inflammation and can be used in combination with other medications, such as DMARDs.

Biologics suppress the immune system that makes it slightly harder for the patient to fight off infections.

Other side effects occasionally seen with these medications include mild skin reactions at the injection site, headaches or dizziness, colds or sinus infections, and nausea or diarrhoea

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