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What are some medications for gout?

William J. Martin, MD
Rheumatology
Hyperuricemia (high uric acid) is a cause of chronic kidney disease in men whose uric acid levels are over 13 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and in women whose levels exceed 10 mg/dL. Some evidence suggests that uric acid damages the kidneys, which also causes hypertension (high blood pressure).
 
Christopher Chiodo, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
To treat an attack of gout, your doctor will usually begin by prescribing a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Avoid aspirin, as it may raise uric acid levels.

If you cannot tolerate NSAIDs or if they do not help, your doctor may suggest a corticosteroid, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids may be taken orally; less frequently, they are injected directly into the affected joint (usually numbed ahead of time with a nerve block).

Another option is an injection of adrenocorticotrophic hormone, a compound that directs your adrenal gland to make more cortisone. Although the medication colchicine may be given in pill form, it tends to cause unpleasant side effects (nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea). Rarely, people may take drugs to lower uric acid levels in their blood. These include probenecid (Benemid, Probalan) to increase urinary excretion of uric acid, and allopurinol (Zyloprim) and febuxostat (Uloric) to reduce the body's production of uric acid. Allopurinol is a good choice for most people, as it is available as a generic and therefore far less expensive. But for people who are allergic to allopurinol or cannot tolerate it, febuxostat might be a better alternative.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.