What Medications Are Used to Treat an Acute Attack of Gout?

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What is gout?

Gout is a complex form of arthritis which is characterized by a sudden severe attack of pain...typically localized in the big toe.

What causes an acute attack of gout?

A gout attack is brought on by an increase in uric acid.

What is uric acid?

Uric acid is a product of the metabolic break down of purines - a type of compound found naturally in the human body as well as certain types of foods.

What are gout attack symptoms?

Gout attack symptoms include sudden intense joint pain to the big toe, feet, knees, hands or wrists.

How long can a gout attack last?

The most severe pain from a gout attack can last 12 to 24 hours after onset.

If individuals are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms or believe they are having an acute attack of gout should they contact their health care provider?

Yes, an acute attack of gout can be very painful and debilitating....individuals suffering from an acute attack of gout often require medication treatment from a health care provider.

What medications are used to treat an acute attack of gout?

The two most common mediations used to treat an acute attack of gout include: ibuprofen (Motrin) and colchicine (Colcrys).

What is ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a type of medication known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

How does ibuprofen work?

Ibuprofen works as an anti-inflammatory agent by blocking enzymes in the body known as cyclooxygenase - 1 and 2 (COX - 1 and 2). The aforementioned action helps relieve the swelling and pain associated with an acute attack of gout.

What are ibuprofen side effects?

Ibuprofen side effects include: dizziness, heart burn, nausea, vomiting, cramps and constipation.

What is colchicine?

Colchicine is an anti-gout agent.

How does colchicine work?

Colchicine prevents the activation of specific reactions in the body that lead to gout symptoms.

What are colchicine side effects?

Colchicine side effects include: abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

What are ibuprofen/colchicine safety concerns?

Ibuprofen/colchicine safety concerns include:

Pregnancy - Ibuprofen/colchicine may affect child development. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking the aforementioned medications become pregnant.

Drug interactions - Ibuprofen/colchicine may interact with other medications...be sure to inform health care providers about any other medications (including herbal supplements) that may be taken concurrently with anti-gout medications.

What are ibuprofen/colchicines monitoring parameters?

Ibuprofen/colchicine monitoring parameters include: pain associated with acute gout and kidney/liver function.

About the Author

Marc Macera, PharmD, RPh's picture

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