What You Should Know About Gout Treatment
Medication is the most effective method used to treat gout. Your doctor will prescribe a gout medication for you depending on your health and the particular reason medication is being sought. Some medications are used to treat gout attacks, some are preventative and used to prevent additional attacks and to decrease gout complications in the future.
Treating Gout Attacks with Medication
The following medications are used to treat gout attacks and to prevent them from occurring:
1. NSAIDs or Non-steroid Anti-inflammatory medications. These are used to treat inflammation and the pain experienced as a result of gout. A higher dosage is used to treat a current acute attack and the dosage is lowered to prevent any future attacks.
Over the counter variations of these medications include ibuprofen (including Advil and Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve) and indomethacin (Indocin). The NSAIDs side effects include ulcers, bleeding, and stomach pain.
2. Colchicine. Some patients are not able to take NSAIDs because of the severe side effects of those medications so they may be prescribed colchicine instead. This medication reduces the pain of gout and is quite effective when taken at the first sign of symptoms. The side effects of this medication include nausea and diarrhea.
3. Corticosteroids. This medication is prescribed for patients who cannot take either Colchicine or any of the NSAIDs. Corticosteroids are either injected in the joint or they are given in pill form. These corticosteroids relieve pain and inflammation but they have severe side effects such as reduced ability to fight infection, reduced ability of wounds to heal, and thinning bones. These side effects may be managed by reducing the period of treatment and reducing the dosages given.
Gout Medications That Prevent Complications
1. Uric acid removal. Removal of uric acid is done with the use of Probalan which aids the kidney’s function of removing uric acid from the system. The medication decreases the risk of gout occurring and decreases the uric acid levels but it increases the amount of uric acid in the urine. Kidney stones, rash and stomach pains are the side effects of using this medication.
2. Blocking uric acid production- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors. Medications used to block production of uric acid include Lopurin, Aloprim, and Zyloprim. While these medications work well to curb uric acid production, they have side effects such as low blood counts, rash, reduced liver function and nausea.
This class of drugs should only be used after a prior attack of gout has been completely resolved or it could trigger a new attack of gout. This risk can be reduced if colchicine is taken in low dosages just before beginning treatment with xanthine oxidase medications.
Gout Treatment Through Lifestyle Changes
Certain lifestyle changes can be followed during gout attacks that could prove helpful, according to the American Diabetic Association.
1. Avoid alcohol
2. Reduce daily intake of meat to 4 to 6 ounces of fish, poultry and meat
3. Consume a modest amount of protein such as eggs, nut butters, fat-free and low-fat dairy and tofu
4. Consume 8 to 16 cups of fluids daily, half of which should be water.