Treatment for Gout

The goal of gout treatment is to decrease the amount of uric acid in the joints, which helps to reduce symptoms and prevent further attacks. If left untreated, affected joints may be damaged, causing disability.

Acute gout often is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (e.g., Anaprox, Naprosyn) and indomethacin (e.g., Indocin), usually for 3–7 days. Due to potentially severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects, NSAIDs should only be used as instructed.

If gout attacks occur frequently, long-term, daily gout medication may be prescribed. Colchicine (Colcrys) and probenecid (Benemid) may be used alone or in combination (e.g., Colbenemid) when other medications do not relieve symptoms.

These medications are most effective when taken within 12 hours of the onset of symptoms. Side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone) also may be taken orally or injected into the affected joint. These medications usually resolve symptoms in about a week.

In December 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lesinurad (Zurampic) to treat hight levels of uric acid in the blood associated with gout. This drug is used in combination with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor (XOI; diminishes uric acid production) to reduce hyperuricemia. Zurampic helps the kidneys excrete uric acid from the body.

Side effects include headache, influenza, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and higher-than-normal levels of creatinine in the blood. Zurampic carries a boxed warning due to an increased risk for acute kidney (renal) failure and the FDA has required a postmarketing study to evaluate renal and cardiovascular effects of the medication.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: John J. Swierzewski, D.P.M.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016