Psoriatic Arthritis Medications

Azathioprine
Azathioprine was first used in higher doses in cancer chemotherapy and organ transplantation. It is used in combination therapy, as well as in psoriatic arthritis patients who have not responded to other medications.
 
Azathioprine side effects can include: cough or hoarseness, fever or chills, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea or vomiting, painful or difficult urination, and unusual tiredness or weakness.
 
Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you use allopurinol or have kidney or liver disease. This medication can reduce your ability to fight infections, so call your doctor immediately if you develop chills, fever, or a cough. Regular blood and liver function tests are needed during treatment with this drug.
 
Cyclosporine
Cyclosporine was first used in organ transplantation to prevent rejection. It is used in psoriatic arthritis patients who have not responded to other medications.
 
Cyclosporine side effects can include: bleeding, tender, or enlarged gums; high blood pressure; an increase in hair growth; kidney problems; or trembling and shaking of hands.
 
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have one of the following: sensitivity to castor oil (if receiving the medication by injection), liver or kidney disease, an active infection, or high blood pressure. Using this medication may make you more susceptible to infections and certain cancers.
 
Do not take live vaccines while on this medication.
 
Gold Sodium Thiomalate
This was one of the first DMARDs used to treat psoriatic arthritis. It is given as an injection into the muscle once a week for at least 20 weeks.
 
Side effects can include: redness or soreness of the tongue; swelling or bleeding gums; skin rash or itching; ulcers or sores on the lips, mouth, or throat; and irritation on tongue. Joint pain may also occur for one or two days after injection.
 
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of the following: lupus, skin rash, kidney disease, or colitis. Periodic urine and blood tests are needed to check for side effects.
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