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Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Psoriatic Arthritis Patients: a Review


Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2020 Sep 28;22(11):81. doi: 10.1007/s11926-020-00956-x.

John A Roberts 4th 1, Lisa A Mandl 2 3

Author Information

1 Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021, USA.

2 Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021, USA. MandlL@hss.edu.

3 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA. MandlL@hss.edu.


Purpose of review: While complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is prevalent in the general population and is known to be used in systemic rheumatic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, its use in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is less well-studied. The purpose of this review was to identify published data describing the use of CAM in patients with PsA.

Recent findings: PsA patients report frequent use of CAM. Diet is believed to affect disease activity, and dietary approaches are used by patients to mitigate symptoms. Dietary supplements have been studied, especially fatty acids, with some positive results. Herbal remedies show promise, but more and better studies are needed, including evaluating medical cannabis. Studies of some the most commonly used CAM, such as acupuncture and massage, are conspicuously absent. CAM use is common among patients with PsA. There is, however, a significant knowledge gap, and there is a critical need for rigorous research to ensure safe and effective use of CAM for these patients.