Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work by reducing inflammation in the body, which can help relieve joint pain and swelling caused by psoriatic arthritis. However, they cannot slow the progression of joint damage.

There is a wide variety of NSAIDs available in Canada. Examples include acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin®, generics), ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, generics), and naproxen (Naprosyn®, generics).

NSAIDs are given by mouth. They are usually taken anywhere from once daily to four times daily, depending on the medication. They can be taken as needed to help manage symptoms.

Side effects of NSAIDs include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, headache, ringing in the ears, fluid retention, and skin rash. Many of the gastrointestinal side effects can be minimized by taking NSAIDs with food or adding another medication to help protect the stomach lining.

Serious side effects include ulcers, stomach bleeding, heart problems (including increased risk of heart attack or stroke), and kidney problems.

Before taking NSAIDs, let your rheumatologist know if you have kidney or liver problems, stomach ulcers, blood disorders, heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, or diabetes.