Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Colchicine is used to prevent gout attacks in adults. Colchicine is also used to relieve the pain of gout attacks when they occur. Colchicine is also used to treat familial Mediterranean fever in adults and children 4 years of age and older. Colchicine is not a pain reliever and cannot be used to treat pain that is not caused by gout or FMF. Colchicine is in a class of medications called anti-gout agents. It works by stopping the natural processes that cause swelling and other symptoms of gout and FMF.
Home Remedies For Gout Flare Ups
Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in the jointsoften in the big toe. Attacks generally last three to 10 days, followed by pain-free periods before the next flare-up occurs. Although there is no cure for gout, taking prescribed medications and making lifestyle changes can help to alleviate the pain of flare-ups, prevent future attacks, and avoid long-term damage to your joints. Always check with your health care provider before trying home remedies for gout flare-ups.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
How Is Pseudogout Treated
The type of pseudogout treatment depends on several factors, including your age, other medications youâre taking, your overall health, your medical history, and how severe the attacks are. Drugs to treat pseudogout include:
- Anti-inflammatory painkiller drugs, also calledNSAIDs, generally are prescribed to treat sudden and severe pseudogout attacks. NSAIDs — like ibuprofen and naproxen — usually reduce inflammation and pain within hours.
- Corticosteroids may be prescribed if you canât take NSAIDs. Steroids also work by decreasing inflammation. They can be injected into the affected joint or given as pills.
- Colchicine, a gout drug, is sometimes used in low doses for a longer period of time to reduce the risk of repeated attacks of pseudogout.
Anti-inflammatory medications are usually continued until the pseudogout attack goes away. Symptoms are often better within 24 hours after treatment begins.
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What Medications Can Cause Gout To Flare Up: You Have To Know This
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What Are Future Possible Treatments Of Gout
Fortunately, present medications are successful in the vast majority of gout patients. But some patients cannot tolerate our present arsenal of gout medications. For others, these agents are not sufficiently effective. Therefore, new treatments are continually being sought. Some of the more promising include anakinra, rilonacept, canakinumab, BCX4208 and arhalofenate.
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Causes Of Gout Flares
Gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis, happens when levels of uric acid a normal byproduct of metabolic reactions in your body become too high, says Kenneth Saag, MD, professor of medicine in the division of clinical immunology and rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When this substance cant be sufficiently dissolved and excreted in the urine, it starts to crystallize, and those crystals deposit themselves in joints where they cause severe inflammation.
Certain risk factors, such as having a family history/genetic predisposition or having chronic kidney disease, can affect the development of gout over time. Taking certain medications , a high alcohol or sugar intake, or eating high-purine foods can trigger a gout flare. Read more about what causes gout here.
If youre new to gout, your doctor will need to confirm the diagnosis, as it can sometimes masquerade as other ailments that impact the joints . Your doctor will likely use a needle to remove some fluid from the swollen joint, then examine it under a microscope to confirm that it contains uric acid crystals.
When Is Surgery Considered For Gout
The question of surgery for gout most commonly comes up when a patient has a large clump of urate crystals , which is causing problems. This may be if the tophus is on the bottom of the foot, and the person has difficulty walking on it, or on the side of the foot making it hard to wear shoes. An especially difficult problem is when the urate crystals inside the tophus break out to the skin surface. This then can allow bacteria a point of entry, which can lead to infection, which could even track back to the bone. Whenever possible, however, we try to avoid surgery to remove tophi. The problem is that the crystals are often extensive, and track back to the bone, so there is not a good healing surface once the tophus is removed. In some rare cases, such as when a tophus is infected or when its location is causing major disability, surgical removal may be considered.
Since it is hard to heal the skin after a tophus is removed, a skin graft may be needed. For this reason, we often try hard to manage the tophus medically. If we give high doses of medication to lower the urate level, such as allopurinol, over time the tophus will gradually reabsorb. In severe cases, we may consider using the intravenous medication pegloticase , since it lowers the urate level the most dramatically, and can lead to the fastest shrinkage of the tophus.
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Lowering Uric Acid Levels
Standard urate-lowering medicines are:
- Allopurinol This is an oral prescription that helps lower serum uric acid levels. This medicine is also known by brand names Lopurin® and Zyloprim®. When started on this drug, your doctor will likely gradually increase the dosage to a standard prescription dose.
- This is another urate-lowering therapy that can be prescribed under the brand name Uloric®. This medication is taken orally and decreases the bodys production of uric acid. It can be taken by people with mild to moderate kidney or liver disease.
Some general potential side effects of allopurinol are: changes in taste, diarrhea, indigestion and stomach pain or cramps. For febuxostat, some minor side effects are: changes in appetite, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, hot flush to face or skin, stomach upset or pain. Its important that if they persist or there are questions, call a doctor.
Though only 1 in 1,000 patient cases, there is a more severe hypersensitivity reaction to allopurinol, with fever or rash that can cover the body and deterioration of liver and kidney function. At-risk patient populations can be screened for a genetic marker that can predict this reaction. To alleviate this hypersensitivity, doctors will start a patient on a low dose with a step-up plan to the optimal medication dose.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Colchicine comes as a tablet and solution to take by mouth with or without food. When colchicine is used to prevent gout attacks or to treat FMF, it is usually taken once or twice a day. When colchicine is used to relieve the pain of a gout attack, one dose is usually taken at the first sign of pain and a second, smaller dose is usually taken one hour later. If you do not experience relief or have another attack within several days after treatment, talk to your doctor before taking additional doses of medication. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take colchicine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
It is important to use an oral syringe to accurately measure the correct amount of liquid for each dose do not use a household spoon.
If you are taking colchicine to treat FMF, your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Your doctor may decrease your dose if you experience side effects.
Colchicine can prevent attacks of gout and control FMF only as long as you take the medication. Continue to take colchicine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking colchicine without talking to your doctor.
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Medications Used For Treating Gout Flares
Gout attacks, or gout flares, usually occur when there is an excess build-up of uric acid in your blood. When the human body breaks down purines, it leads to the formation of uric acid. The level of uric acid in your body becomes harmful when your kidney is not able to remove it from your body through urine. When the uric acid level increases, it may lead to gout. This inflammatory disease mainly affects your joints, causing severe pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Doctors prescribe several medications to prevent gout flare-ups. You should note that these medications cannot cure gout but can alleviate gout symptoms. In this article, we will take a look at some of the short-term and long-term gout medications.
Signs And Symptoms Of Gout
Any joint can be affected by gout, but it usually affects joints towards the ends of the limbs, such as the toes, ankles, knees and fingers.
Signs and symptoms of gout include:
- severe pain in one or more joints
- the joint feeling hot and very tender
- swelling in and around the affected joint
- red, shiny skin over the affected joint
Symptoms develop rapidly over a few hours and typically last three to 10 days. After this time the pain should pass and the joint should return to normal.
Almost everyone with gout will experience further attacks at some point, usually within a year.
Read more about the complications of gout.
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Who Can Take Allopurinol
Allopurinol is often recommended as the first choice of treatment to control gout. If your doctor prescribes it as soon as you are diagnosed, it may prevent future attacks and joint damage.
You will usually be offered allopurinol if blood tests show that your urate level is high enough for urate crystals to form, especially if one or more of the following applies:
- you are having frequent attacks of gout.
- your joints have been damaged by gout.
- your skin has visible deposits of urate crystals. These are firm white lumps, which are called tophi.
You may not be offered allopurinol, or you may be given a lower dose, if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to allopurinol.
- are currently having an attack of gout.
- have problems with your liver or kidneys.
- are of Han Chinese, Thai or Korean origin.
- have thyroid problems.
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Gout
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : These can quickly relieve the pain and swelling of an acute gout episode. They can shorten the attack, especially if taken in the first 24 hours.
- Corticosteroids: These drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into an inflamed joint to quickly relieve the pain and swelling of an acute attack. Corticosteroids usually start working within 24 hours after they are taken.
- Colchicine: An anti-inflammatory medicine that works best if taken within the first 24 hours of a gout attack.
Medications for reducing uric acid levels: These are usually prescribed after an acute attack ends to reduce uric acid levels in the body to prevent future attacks.
- Colchicine: Regular and low doses of colchicine may be given along with other medications below to prevent flare-ups.
- Allopurinol: It reduces uric acid production in the body.
- : It reduces uric acid production in the body.
- Probenecid: It acts on the kidneys to help eliminate uric acid.
- Pegloticase: This is a medication that is injected every 2 weeks. It reduces uric acid quickly and used when other medications fail.
Lifestyle and home remedies to treat acute gout and can prevent recurrent attacks:
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption and drinks sweetened with fructose
- Limiting intake of foods high in purines, such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood
- Drinking plenty of fluids
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How Does A Doctor Diagnose Gout
If you have sudden or severe pain in a joint, you should talk to your primary care provider . Your PCP may send you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in gout and other kinds of arthritis.
Healthcare providers consider several things when confirming gout:
- Symptoms: The provider will ask you to describe your symptoms, how often they happen and how long they last.
- Physical examination: Your provider will examine the affected joint to look for swelling, redness and warmth.
- Blood work: A test can measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.
- Imaging tests: You may have pictures taken of the affected joint with X-rays, an ultrasound or MRI.
- Aspiration: The provider may use a needle to pull fluid from the joint. Using a microscope, a team member can look for uric acid crystals or a different problem .
Take Care Of Yourself
Get other health conditions under control. Gout is linked with high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and kidney disease. If you have any of those problems, get treatment.
Ask your doctor if you need to make changes to the medications you take. Aspirin, diuretics for high blood pressure, and drugs for people whoâve had an organ transplant can trigger gout. Your doctor can help you find other alternatives.
Drink more fluids. You may lower your odds of gout if you drink at least eight glasses of fluids a day. Make sure that at least half of that is water.
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What Increases Your Chances For Gout
The following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:
- Being male
Home Remedies For Long
The American College of Rheumatology recommends a couple of lifestyle modifications for preventing future attacks of gout:
1) Lose weight if you need to. Being overweight can increase uric acid levels as well as put pressure on the joints.
2) Follow a low-purine diet. Another effective way to reduce uric acid levels is to follow a low-purine diet. Purines are organic compounds that break down into uric acid. Following a low-purine diet means avoiding the big four alcohol, shellfish, red meat, and high fructose corn syrup.
Limiting these foods is also beneficial for heart health and people with gout are at higher risk for heart disease.
But dont go overboard with dietary changes to relieve gout pain though, advises Dr. Fields. You can find lists of thousands of different foods youre not supposed to have if you have gout. Those recommendations are impossible to follow and can make you crazy.
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Managing A Gout Flare
Gout flares are unexpected and painful heres how to get a handle on them.
Few things in life are more painful than a gout flare, so if youre awakened in the wee hours by a joint that is tender, swollen, red and radiating heat, youll want to act fast. Heres what you can do when a gout flare starts to ease the pain and reduce the risk of others.
Take Medicine You Have on Hand. Start treatment immediately with over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen , but never take aspirin, which can worsen a flare. If you have had a flare before and your doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication to take in the event of another, take your prescribed medication as your doctor directed. If you are already taking a uric acid-lowering drug to reduce the risk of flares, continue to take that drug.
Ice Down. Applying an ice pack to the painful joint may help ease pain and inflammation. Wrap a pack in a dish cloth and apply to the area for 20- to 30-minutes at a stretch several times a day.
Let your doctor know what is going on right away. She may prescribe a new medication, or have you come to the office for a joint fluid test or an injection of a corticosteroid to start relieving inflammation quickly. Getting treatment within the first 24 hours of the start of a flare can lessen its length and severity.
Get a Cane. Walking with a cane during an acute gou flare can help keep pressure off your painful joint.
Who Should Diagnose And Treat Gout
The disease should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of gout patients. This is important because the signs and symptoms of gout are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory diseases. Doctors who specialize in gout and other forms of arthritis are called rheumatologists. To find a provider near you, visit the database of rheumatologistsexternal icon on the American College of Rheumatology website. Once a rheumatologist has diagnosed and effectively treated your gout, a primary care provider can usually track your condition and help you manage your gout.
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