At Last! Good News For Gout Sufferers!
Gout, an arthritis affliction with its roots in antiquity, has not always been easy to treat. The traditional medicines employed for gout have been non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), colchicines, probenicid (Benemid), and allopurinol (Zyloprim).
Unfortunately, while effective, these drugs have their drawbacks. NSAIDS cause gastrointestinal complications; colchicines has been linked to severe neurologic and gastrointestinal problems; probenecid cannot be used in patients who do not have normal kidney function; and allopurinol has been associated with severe side effects including liver, skin, and blood toxicity.
Interestingly, drugs you may take for other medical conditions may help you with gout. Losartan (Cozaar), a blood pressure medication, and fenofibrate (Tricor), a triglyceride-lowering drug, works as mild uricosuric drugs. This means these agents help the kidneys get rid of excess uric acid- the major ingredient in the crystals that cause gout pain.
By the same token that some medicines taken for different conditions may help gout, others may hurt it. For instance, certain diuretics may elevate blood uric acid. The same is true for low doses of aspirin.
A new medicine, febuxostat, has recently undergone clinical trials. This medication is being heralded because of its safety profile.
Obviously, all medicine decisions should be made in concert with your physician.
Dr. Wei (pronounced "way") is a board-certified rheumatologist and Clinical Director of the nationally respected Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has served as a consultant to the Arthritis Branch of the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. For more information on arthritis and related conditions, go to: http://www.arthritis-treatment-and-relief.com
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