Psoriatic Arthritis Medications

Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

DMARDs are another class of drugs that may be recommend for psoriatic arthritis treatment. They relieve painful, swollen, stiff joints. However, unlike NSAIDs or corticosteroids, DMARDs may also slow joint damage. They take a few weeks or months to have an effect, and may produce significant improvements for many patients. Exactly how they work is still unknown.
 
Side effects vary with each medicine. DMARDs may increase the risk of infections, hair loss, and kidney or liver damage. A patient who has been prescribed one of these medicines should be monitored by his or her doctor. By monitoring the progress of the medication, the doctor can weigh the risk of toxicities against the drug's potential benefits.
 
Various DMARD medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis include:
 
Methotrexate
Methotrexate can be taken by mouth or by injection. Although it usually takes three to six weeks to begin working, it appears to be very effective, resulting in rapid improvement of symptoms. In general, it produces more favorable long-term responses compared with other DMARDs such as sulfasalazine, gold sodium thiomalate, and hydroxychloroquine.
 
Side effects can include: abdominal discomfort, chest pain, chills, nausea, mouth sores, painful urination, sore throat, and unusual tiredness or weakness. Taking folic acid 1 to 5 mg daily or folinic acid 5 mg weekly can decrease the risk of certain methotrexate side effects, such as a sore throat or upset stomach.
 
Doctor monitoring is important, particularly if you have an abnormal blood count, liver or lung disease, alcoholism, immune-system deficiency, or an active infection. Methotrexate must not be taken during pregnancy because it may cause birth defects in humans.
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Psoriatic Arthritis Information

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