The treatment of gout is usually a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. The medications prescribed by the doctor depend on the current health and also on the individual preferences as a patient. The medications help relieve pain in acute gout attacks and also in the prevention of future attacks. The medications can also help reduce the risk of potential complications such as development of tophi as a result of urate crystal deposits in the affected area.
MEDICATIONS TO RELIEVE PAIN AND INFLAMMATION:
The following are the drugs used for treating acute gout attacks and in the prevention of future attacks.
- Corticosteroids: The most popular corticosteroid medication is prednisone but there are others in this category. Generally, corticosteroids help control pain and inflammation from gout. They can be pills or in injectable form. Side effects associated with these medications include elevated blood pressure, increase in levels of blood sugar and mood swings.
- Colchicine: this is a pain relieving drug which may be sold by various brand names such as Mitigare and Colcrys among others. Although it may reduce pain from gout attack, it is associated with side effects such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting and these can be very severe especially if it is taken in high doses. To reduce the risk of these side effects doctor will recommend high dose only when the gout attack is acute but thereafter the dosage will be reduced.
- NSAIDs: there are many drugs some prescription and others which can be sold over the counter within the category of Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). As the name suggests, they help relieve pain from gout and reduce inflammation. The doctor may prescribe higher doses in case of an acute attack but the dosage may afterwards be reduced in order to prevent attacks in the future. Note that NSAIDs like all other drugs have side effects some of which may be severe. The common side effects associated with drugs include ulcers, bleeding and stomach pain.
MEDICATIONS TO HELP PREVENT COMPLICATIONS:
Gout, if it is recurrent, acute or chronic can cause many other complications in the body. Your doctor may thus prescribe drugs to help reduce the levels of uric acid in the body and reduce the risk of these complications. There are two categories of drugs in this category –
- Drugs which block the production of uric acid: these are known as XOIs (Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors) and they reduce the amount of uric acid produce by the body. By lowering level of uric acid in blood, they reduce the risk of gout. Like all other drugs, they have side effects such nausea, rash, reduced function of the lover, low blood counts, etc.
- Drugs which improve the removal of uric acid in the body: These are known as uricosurics and they generally improve the ability of the kidney to remove the uric acid in the body. The effect of this is reduction in level of uric acid in blood and thus a lower risk of gout. Their side effects include kidney stones, stomach pain and rash among others.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR TREATMENT OF GOUT:
As you can see, drugs only do not provide the answer on how to get rid of gout as they are associated with many other side effects. It is recommended that you make the requisite lifestyle changes such as
- Regular exercises to control body weight and improve functioning of the body.
- Take non-dairy and low fat vegetables or products. Reduce intake of all foods that are high in purine such as seafood, organ meats and red meat.
- Take non-alcoholic beverages including water. Reduce intake of all drinks and beverages high in fructose (fruit sugar).
Taking drugs where necessary, and adopting the requisite lifestyle changes is the best treatment for gout in foot or elsewhere in the body.