Gout Conventional Medicine
Gout Conventional medicine consists of two different types of treatment: treatment of an attack and long term prevention of attacks.
Gout is a disorder of purine metabolism and leads to high levels of uric acid which then crystallize out into the joints, tendons and surrounding tissues. This leads to the immune system causing a local reaction of inflammation (usually due to Interleukin 1 beta). Treatment of an acute attack therefore consists of dealing with local inflammation through different forms of anti-inflammatory drugs.
The following medicines are prescribed at the first sign of a gout attack.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or indomethacin. Avoid aspirin, because it may abruptly change uric acid levels in the blood and may make symptoms worse. NSAIDs do have side effects that make them unsuitable for some people if they have problems with gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure or heart failure. Indomethacin is commonly used for Gout but has more side effects than ibuprofen. Most doctors automatically prescribe proton pump inhibitors to protect the stomach lining against the effects of NSAIDs.
Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory that is prescribed to patients who cannot take NSAIDs. the substance was originally a traditional remedy of extract of Autumn Crocus and the active substance was identified and developed as a conventional medicine. There are some issues about toxicity of the medicinal form.
Steroids are another option to NSAIDs. They are particularly effective when injected into the joint.
Long term (often lifetime) treatment which aims to prevent recurrent attacks by dealing with the levels of uric acid in the blood, the metabolic method of creation of uric acid and the method of precipitation :
These medications reduce uric acid levels in the blood, which lowers the risk of future attacks.
Uricosuric agents increase elimination of uric acid by the kidneys.
Drugs called xanthine oxidase inhibitors such as allopurinol, decrease production of uric acid by the body.
The Gout conventional medicine page is updated regularly as new information is published in medical journals.