Managing Pain

A number of medications can be used to manage pain associated with PsA1,2

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – can be purchased over-the-counter, including naproxen and ibuprofen
  • Corticosteroids –injections to the joints can be administered by a physician to reduce short-term inflammation
  • Conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (c-DMARDs) – examples include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and leflunomide; these medications protect the joints from PsA-associated damage
  • Targeted disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (t-DMARDs) such as biologics and novel small molecule inhibitors – a class of medications that block specific signals of the immune and inflammatory cascade that causes PsA-associated inflammation

Many of these medications have side effects, including increased risk of infections. You should be carefully monitored by your family physician, your rheumatologist and any other specialist you see while taking these medications. In advanced cases of PsA, you may need a joint replacement to restore your mobility.



1Ritchlin CT, Colbert RA, Gladman DD. Psoriatic Arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2017 Mar 9;376(10):957-970. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1505557. Erratum in: N Engl J Med. 2017 May 25;376(21):2097. PMID: 28273019.]

2Armstrong AW, Read C. Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation, and Treatment of Psoriasis: A Review. JAMA. 2020 May 19;323(19):1945-1960. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.4006. PMID: 32427307.