Gout also referred to as ‘gouty arthritis,’ affects 275 out of every 100,000 Americans. It is often associated with more serious medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and kidney failure. There has been no established permanent cure for the condition, yet it is managed with specific gout medications. The medications are effective in stabilizing the pain while also reducing the probability of future attacks.
Gout is the result of high uric acid levels in your blood. The over-production of uric acid eventually builds up in the joints forming hard crystals; which inevitably causes swelling, redness and excruciating pain. The gout attacks usually occur suddenly during the night and last over a period of days. More over, the attacks may reoccur months or even years later.
If left untreated, the uric acid buildup or hyperuricemia has the potential to cause great damage to the kidneys alleviating their ability to properly excrete the acid from the body. Therefore, seeking medical attention is imperative in order to receive the appropriate treatment, gout medication.
In most cases, gout has to be treated with medications. Physicians apply treatment or therapy according to the severity of the condition at the time of diagnosis. Subsequently, the initial goal of therapy is to manage the acute gout. This is primarily applied to decrease the excruciating pain and inflammation of the joints. The medications include:
1. Non- steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
The NSAIDs block prostaglandins which is the substance that dialates blood vessels and causes inflammation and the pain of gout. Medications include indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), diclofenac (Voltaren), sulindac (Clinoril) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
This medication eliminates the pain of gout, yet is has extremely annoying side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
This medication is the last resort for acute gout and it is only used for patients who cannot tolerate NSAIDs or Colchicine. It is not as effective as the others either. Such medications are prednisone, prednisolone and trimcinolone.
Chronic gout medications are used to prevent an acute gout attack from reoccurring. This is done by lowering uric acid levels. Chronic gout medications include:
1. Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors
This medication decreases the amount of uric acid produced by the body such as Allopurinol.
2. Uricosuric Agents
This medication assists the kidney to rid of excess uric acid; medications such as probenecid or sulfinpyrazone.