Gout is a condition, in which, there is deposition of uric acid crystals on the joints. Listed in this HealthHearty article, are some medications for the treatment of this condition, along with their possible side effects.
Gout can be defined as a type of arthritis, wherein, uric acid and its salts are deposited on certain joints, due to which, there is inflammation of the big toe and feet.
As a result of this condition, people may suffer from problems, like, arthritis and disabilities of the bones. The symptoms that show up are, swelling in the bone joints, and restricted movement due to the pain caused by this swelling. The pain in such a condition is unbearable, however, it can be treated with medications. There are two types of gout with respect to their severity viz., acute, which is a less serious state and commonly affects only one joint. Chronic gout occurs when the uric acid deposition causes complications, like arthritis, thus affecting multiple joints. Let’s take a look at how treatment differs for both the conditions.
Acute gout is the primary stage of uric acid deposition, and it can be treated easily with following medications.
Corticosteroids are one of the best forms of medicine. Steroids, like, triamcinolone, prednisone, and prednisolone, are injected directly into the joints to relieve pain. However, because of the many side effects of steroids, they are always a second choice while treating acute gout.
Colchicine is also one of the painkillers used to reduce the joint pain. It is one of the oldest medications to be used, however, only for those, who can tolerate its side effects.
Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
These drugs are effective for treating acute gout. Some of them, like, oxaprozin (Daypro), ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), etc., are the most widely used NSAIDs. These drugs are called anti-inflammatory because they block prostaglandins, which dilate blood vessels and cause inflammation. They should be taken only by prescription.
This is a much severe stage of gout. These drugs can reduce the uric acid levels, and also prevent acute gout attacks.
Drugs, like, probenecid or sulfinpyrazone help the kidneys to release extra uric acid formed by the body. Patients, who cannot excrete enough uric acid from their body, need such agents to get rid of it.
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors
Allopurinol reduces the amount of uric acid produced by the body, and is taken by patients, who produce excessive amounts of uric acid.
Some over-the-counter drugs advised by physicians are listed below:
- NSAIDs like Percocet, Arthrotec and Celebrex, ibuprofen and Naproxen
- Analgesics such as, TENS pain relief machines
- Losartan tablets, such as Hyzaar and Cozaar, used for low uric acid levels
- Probenecid, also called Probalan or Benemid is used to eliminate uric acid.
- Vitamins, like Vitamin C (500 mg), and supplements like bromelain, are also used to reduce uric acid levels, and act as anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
- When oral steroids, such as, prednisone (more than 10 mg) are mixed with corticosteroids, there are chances of gastrointestinal bleeding.
- NSAIDs can cause repetitive ulcers, if a patient already suffers from them.
- Alcohol with NSAIDs can cause ulcers, liver toxicity, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Some anti-coagulants, such as coumadin, when mixed with NSAIDs, can cause internal bleeding.
- Other common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, swelling of the tongue, lips, and face, muscle cramps, and indigestion.
- Headache, rapid weight loss due to low appetite, yellowing of the skin and eyes, decreased hearing and ringing in the ears, tingling sensation, numbness, and dizziness are also very common.
- Blood in urine and vomit, dark and bloody stools are some of the very serious side effects reported by some patients.
- Corticosteroid injections can lead to weak cartilages and deteriorating joints.
- Colchicine side effects, include, purpura (discoloration due to bleeding under the skin), myopathy (dis-function of various muscles), azoospermia (absence of sperm), aplastic anemia, and thrombocytopenia (reduction in platelet production).
The medication is easily available, and is also effective. However, consult your doctor and then use, only prescribed over the counter drugs.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical professional.