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Gout Diet

Gout Medication

The goals of treatment for gout consist of alleviating pain, avoiding severe attacks in the future, and preventing long-term joint damage. In addition to taking pain medications as prescribed by their doctors, people having gout attacks are encouraged to rest and to increase the amount of fluids that they drink.

Gout Medication for Acute Gout

The goal of therapy for acute gout is to decrease the excruciating pain and inflammation of the joints. The medications used include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), oxaprozin (Daypro), diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), etodolac (Lodine), naproxen (Naprelan), sulindac (Clinoril) and others. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are considered to be the best treatment available, which means that they are preferred over any other medication in acute gout. NSAIDs block prostaglandins, the substance that dilates blood vessels and causes inflammation and pain of gout. NSAIDs are taken by mouth three or four times daily, usually for as long as patient has symptoms.
  • Colchicine has been used to treat gout for years. Colchicine works well to eliminate the pain of gout; however, many patients cannot tolerate its side effects, which include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. For this reason, colchicine is regarded as a second line therapy for acute gout and is only used in patients with a contraindication to NSAIDs.
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, prednisolone, and triamcinolone. Some steroids can be injected directly into the joint or a muscle to relieve the pain locally. Steroids are not used very often in acute gout because they do not work as well as NSAIDs or colchicine. They are the “last resort” therapy, used only in patients that cannot take NSAIDs or colchicine (as determined by a physician).

Gout Medications used to treat Chronic Gout

The goal of therapy for chronic gout is to prevent an acute gout attack from recurring. This is sometimes accomplished by decreasing the uric acid levels. The following medications are used:

  • Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors, such as allopurinol work by decreasing the amount of uric acid produced by the body. Allopurinol is usually prescribed for patients who produce excessive amounts of uric acid in their body ("overproducers").
  • Uricosuric Agents, such as probenecid or sulfinpyrazone, work by helping the kidneys get rid of the excess uric acid produced in the body. Uricosuric agents are usually prescribed for patients whose kidneys cannot eliminate uric acid from the body ("underexcreters").

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