How is gout treated?
Acute attacks of gout are usually treated with moderately high doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples of these include diclofenac (Cataflam, Zipsor), indomethacin, ketoprofen, naproxen (Anaprox), piroxicam (Feldene) and sulindac (Clinoril). These drugs will reduce symptoms of gout such as pain and inflammation of the joint, and should take effect within 24 hours of starting therapy. Aspirin should not be used for treating gout. Colchicine (Colcrys) is an anti-gout agent that may be given to treat or prevent an acute attack. Take colchicine at the first sign of gout flare then 1 hour later. Do not exceed the max dose that can be taken over a 1 hour period. In gout prevention the dose can be taken once or twice daily. In chronic (long-lasting) gout, medication can be given to reduce the formation of uric acid. Allopurinol (Aloprim, Zyloprim) and febuxostat (Uloric) reduce the formation of uric acid and are given after an attack to prevent recurrence. These medicines should not be taken during an episode of acute gout as they can prolong the symptoms. They may need to be taken on a regular basis to prevent further episodes and the dose will be adjusted to a maintenance level according to uric acid levels in the blood.

Self-help measures

  • Ensure that you drink sufficient fluids to enable your kidneys to flush out uric acid.
  • Take all medicines regularly as ordered by your doctor. If you buy any medicines for ailments such as colds and the flu make sure they do not interact with your treatment for gout. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.
  • Obesity can affect gout so try to keep your weight at a healthy level.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol as this can raise uric acid levels and trigger an episode of gout.
  • Avoid foods that are high in purines (eg, anchovies, gravy, sweetbreads, mushrooms, sardines).

Further information
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Information Clearinghouse: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp

Last Reviewed: June 2013