Psoriatic Arthritis Treatments

Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of arthritis that affects some individuals who also have psoriasis, which is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells.

This causes the skin cells to build up, after which they form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes even painful. Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints which usually worsens with age and causes sufferers to experience pain and stiffness in those joints. People usually develop psoriasis first, and later develop the arthritis component. Some patients can learn to manage symptoms by practicing stress management skills.


The major symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The symptoms can occur on one side or both sides of the body, and can cause swelling in the fingers and toes, foot pain and lower back pain. It is a chronic condition that worsens over time, and has no cure. When the symptoms aren’t treated, individuals may not be able to function in their normal lives.


Guselkumab is a biologic medication marketed under the brand name Tremfya. TREMFYA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills. TREMFYA is the first and only medicine of its kind to be FDA-approved to treat adults with psoriatic arthritis. It
selectively blocks interleukin 23 (IL-23), one of the key proteins thought to be responsible for symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. In two medical studies, more than half of patients treated with TREMFYA® had at least a 20% improvement in active PsA symptoms (joint pain, stiffness, swelling) at 24 weeks compared to placebo. TREMFYA® can help reduce the joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that make everyday tasks harder to do. In two medical studies, patients’ ability to perform everyday activities was assessed in a questionnaire. At 24 weeks, people taking TREMFYA® showed an overall improvement in their ability to perform daily activities such as: 


Ustekinumav is a biologic medication marketed under the brand name Stelara. STELARA is the only biologic that selectively targets IL-12 and IL-23. Stelara is a human IgG1k  monoclonal antibody that binds with specificity to the p40 protein subunit used by both the interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 cytokines.  IL-12 and IL-23 are naturally occurring cytokines that are involved in inflammatory and immune responses, such as natural killer cell activation and CD4+ T-cell differentiation and activation. In in vitro models, STELARA® was shown to disrupt IL-12– and IL-23–mediated signaling and cytokine cascades by disrupting the interaction of these cytokines with a shared cell-surface receptor chain, IL-12R.


Adalimumab is an anti-inflammatory biologic medication marketed under the brand name Humira. It treats psoriatic arthritis by inhibiting some of the proteins which the body produces too much of in those who suffer from psoriatic arthritis. The proteins are tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or TNF-alpha. The inflammation caused by these is what is responsible for the plaques which form on the skin. Humira targets the TNF-alpha, which can cut down on the pain and swelling of sufferers. Unfortunately, because Humira affects the immune system, it does cause some patients side effects like the inability to fight infections. Certain people shouldn’t take Humira, like those who have had cancer or hepatitis B or those who have diabetes. Minor side effects include diarrhea, shortness of breath, cough and tiredness. Humira can keep your bones and joints from being further damaged and allow patients to resume their normal activities if they have been unable to.


Secukinumab is a biologic medication marketed under the brand name Cosentyx. It is the first and #1 prescribed biologic treatment of its kind. It treats psoriatic arthritis by targeting and blocking the IL-17A molecules in the body that may play a role in causing inflammation. In the largest clinical trial ever conducted for psoriatic arthritis, Cosentyx was proven to help stop further joint damage. 77% of patients taking COSENTYX had no increase in joint damage at 6 months.


Tofacitinib is a biologic medication marketed under the brand name Xeljanz. Xeljanz is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor that works inside your cells to disrupt pathways believed to play a role in inflammation associated with active psoriatic arthritis. Xeljanz can help reduce joint pain, swelling, and improve physical function. In some PsA patients, Xeljanz can help improve skin symptoms and reduce joint pain and swelling of active psoriatic arthritis in as early as 2 weeks.