Merck Manual

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Drugs Used to Treat Gout

Drugs Used to Treat Gout

Drug

Some Side Effects

Comments

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

All NSAIDs

Upset stomach

Bleeding

Decreased kidney function

High potassium levels

Retention of sodium, potassium (rarely), and water

Swelling or high blood pressure (sometimes)

Used to treat an acute (sudden) flare-up (attack) or to prevent a flare-up

Antigout drugs

Colchicine

Upset stomach and diarrhea

Suppression of blood cell production in the bone marrow (occurs very rarely if the drug is used properly)

Muscle pain and weakness (uncommon)

Interaction with many other drugs, sometimes causing severe side effects

Used to prevent and treat flare-ups

Corticosteroids

Prednisone (taken by mouth)

Retention of sodium, with swelling or high blood pressure

Elevated blood sugar

Multiple side effects if used long-term

Used to treat acute flare-ups

Prednisolone tebutate or triamcinolone hexacetonide (taken by injection)

Pain

Discomfort

Infection (rarely)

Injected into the joint if only one or two joints are affected

Uricosuric drugs (drugs that increase uric acid secretion in the urine)

Probenecid

Rash (rare)

Nausea (rare)

Vomiting (rare)

Kidney stones

Can be used long-term to lower blood levels of uric acid to prevent flare-ups

Drugs that block uric acid production

Allopurinol

Upset stomach

Rash (which can rarely be very serious)

Decrease in the number of white blood cells (rare)

Liver damage (rare)

Can be used long-term to lower blood levels of uric acid to prevent flare-ups and to remove crystals in the body or stones in the kidneys

Febuxostat

Nausea

Heart problems

Rash

Especially useful in patients who cannot take or have not been helped by high doses of allopurinol

Pegloticase

High risk of mobilization flare-up (particularly when used for the first time)

Allergic reactions with IV infusions

Used in people with severe gout to dissolve deposits of uric acid rapidly