You may use a gout medication designed to prevent flare-ups and to decrease their pain and severity. These are usually taken for short periods of time. You might also take another type of medication to help prevent the buildup or uric acid and reduce the risk of complications from the chronic form of this disease. These medications are usually taken long-term.
If you’re having an acute attack, you should keep taking your medications. However, it may not be a good time to start a medication designed to lower uric acid, because it can make your attack much worse. Your physician can guide you.
The following are some of the most commonly used gout medications:
To prevent flare-ups:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Your doctor might suggest these over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Or he may suggest you try a prescription NSAIDs such as indomethacin. These types of drugs are very commonly used, but can cause stomach pain and bleeding in some people.
This gout medication is good at reducing your pain. It can cause some troubling side effects, including vomiting and diarrhea. It can be used in high doses if necessary, but lower doses usually have much less bothersome side effects and can be taken in addition to NSAIDs.
These medications can be injected into your affected joint or taken orally. Oral corticosteroids are usually used over 10-14 days, with the dosage tapering off over the course of treatment. They may not be the best choice if you have diabetes, since these drugs can raise your blood sugar levels. They’re sometimes used as a third choice behind NSAIDs and colchicine.
To reduce the risk of complications:
This drug is a popular choice for treating gout. It helps lower your uric acid levels and dissolve crystals, although it may take several months to be effective. Patients like you are often started on a low dose that’s increased as needed. It can cause sleepiness, nausea, a rash, and in rare cases, an allergic reaction. Generally, though, it’s well tolerated.
Similar to allopurinol, this medication blocks your body’s production of uric acid. It can cause liver irritation, but you can usually still take it if you have mild or moderate liver disease. It can also cause nausea, a rash, or a blood clot.
This drug can help increase the amount of uric acid that your kidneys can excrete in your urine. It shouldn’t be used if you have kidney disease or kidney stones that are made of uric acid. Side effects include kidney stones and a rash. It’s important to stay well hydrated when you take this medicine.
This gout medication can be used for the chronic form of the illness that other medications haven’t been able to effectively treat. It can be administered to you intravenously every two weeks.
Peglolicase is not a first choice for treatment because it can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. For that reason, you should talk with your doctor who may also suggest taking steroids and antihistamines to avoid allergic reactions while you’re taking pegliolicase. Unlike other medicines that help prevent complications, it isn’t used in combination with a medication that can help prevent flare-ups.
If your doctor prescribes gout medication or recommends an over-the-counter medicine, it’s important to take them as instructed. This can help improve your symptoms and help prevent flare-ups. Let your doctor know if you have any side effects, but call 911 if you’re having trouble breathing or other signs of a severe allergic reaction.