Gout Medications

Gout Medications

A Comprehensive Look at Gout Medications

If you suffer from gout then there are two ways your doctor can treat your gout with medication. First there the preventive gout medication, those that you take daily to keep uric acid levels normal and medication that help you during gout attacks, when you are most in pain, discomfort and wanting relief. The medication your doctor recommends will be based on your present health status and your personal preferences. Most likely your doctor will combine a short term and long term option for ideal results. Gout medications are divided into either short-term or long-term.

Short-term medication will treat your gout attack providing you with pain relief and reduced inflammation on the affected joint. At the same time it can prevent from another attack taking place. With these medications once you take the first dose, usually you can expect relief from your symptoms within 24 hours of use. Your doctor will usually prescribe you a medication that will be used for a short period of time and no longer than a week.

The list of short-term medications include the following:

  • Colchicine: the most effective pain relief drug designed to block inflammation and reduce swelling caused by the uric acid crystals lodged in your joint(s). It comes in the form of a tablet and goes by the brand name Colcrys. Colchicine has also been shown to reduce gout flare-ups by 85%! So if you feel a flare-up coming, this is an effective way to stop a potential painful gout attack in its’ tracks. Low doses of colchicine are usually well tolerated but higher doses can lead to some side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are an anti-inflammatory medication that can be available over the counter (Motrin, Advil and Aleve) at your local pharmacy and if you want higher dosages they will only be available with a prescription from your doctor (Celebrex, Indocin, Anaprox and Volatren). It comes in the form of a pill or capsule which can be taken orally and can also be available as a topical gel. NSAIDs will reduce pain and swelling by blocking the enzymes and proteins involved in the inflammatory process. Side effects can include nausea, rashes, hives and even heartburn.
  • Corticosteroids: If you are unable to tolerate NSAIDs or colchicine then this is your final option. Depending on the drug they can taken as a pill or injected into the muscle where the joint(s) is affected. Prednisone is the most commonly prescribed corticosteroid. Corticosteroids will help reduce pain and swelling from inflammation providing almost immediate relief from gout symptoms. A special note if you are diabetic, you may experience changes in your blood sugar levels when taking corticosteroids.


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Long-term gout medications are only prescribed after you’ve completed some blood work and it has been confirmed that you suffer from hyperuricemia and/or high uric acid levels. So these medications work to keep uric acid levels healthy as well to prevent any future gout flare-ups or attacks. It should be noted to not take any of these medications while suffering from a gout attack. Taking any of these medications while suffering from a gout attack can worsen your condition.

The list of long-term gout medications include the following:

  • Allopurinol: Typically considered the holy grail of gout drugs, allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor which means that it inhibits the activity of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme involved when your body metabolizes purines thus reducing the production of uric acid. It goes by the brand name of Zyloprim or Lopurin, allopurinol can take up to six months to take effect in some patients. So you may experience some flare-ups during this period.
  • Febuxostat: it functions the same way as allopurinol by decreasing uric acid levels in the blood. Febuxostat goes by the brand name Uloric. It is metabolized by the liver, so it’s considered safe for those suffering from kidney disease.
  • Probenecid: goes by the brand name of Benemid and Probalan, works as a preventive by reducing uric acid. It is mostly prescribed to gout sufferers whose kidneys don’t properly excrete uric acid so probenecid can help them increase excretion.
  • Lesinurad: goes by the brand name Zurampic and is the new kid on the block in helping lower uric acid levels in the blood. It’s often being used in combination with allopurinol to treat gout in those patients that can’t achieve their uric acid targets will only allopurinol.
  • Pegloticase: it is a medication for about 3% of the gout population who are intolerant to all other gout medication options. It is administered via intravenous infusion every two weeks and is considered a last resort option. It goes by the brand name Krystexxa.

The truth is and you know who you are, (cause I’ve been personally guilty of this as well) is that many gout sufferers after they haven’t had a gout attack or flare-up in a long time, will wonder if they should keep taking their medicine. Nothing will happen at first but after a while a gout attack will hit you. Without treatment, future attacks are likely to occur and to be more severe. Following a gout diet and change of lifestyle ( a diet specific to gout sufferers as described in my ebook and on this website) is imperative as well! Some of yous may be able to get off your medication, while others will not. For now, a cure to treat gout forever is not available, that’s why dietary changes and lifestyle changes are so important to avoid worsening your condition.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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  • Arshad Sultan

    Reply Reply August 26, 2016

    Hi Sipro,

    I really appreciate your efforts to share your knowledge and experience on gout which makes you a Hero, who is trying to change the lives of others without repeating the same mistakes.

    I am currently suffering an attack and my doctor didn’t prescribe me any pain killers except Divido. After having a very painful night, I went to the emergency and General Physician prescribed my Prednisone (50mg), which is a big relief for inflammation but swelling is getting reduced as per his own speed, consequently not able to wear any shoes. I wanted to know your thoughts about this.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply August 29, 2016

      Hi Arshad!

      I don’t comment on any prescription drugs and what your doctor prescribed and why since I am not a doctor and not familiar with your unique health situation. If I were you I’d ask why they didn’t prescribe you Colchicine. I find it works the fastest to get the pain, swelling and inflammation removed.

  • Brian

    Reply Reply August 11, 2016


    New to your blog, a 38 yo two year gout sufferer, probably 6 acute attacks, mainly right or left big toe.

    Doctor finally noted the slight hyperuricemia and recommended a low purine diet and greatly increased water consumption (from a very low level of water intake). Have been doing it for a month and now have zero alcohol as well. The target is to get uric acid down to below 6mg/dl so as to dissolve the crystals over time. Last test it was 8.3.

    I want to try this dietary alone but the Dr did recommend Allopurinol (or rather the brand name it’s called in Australia but same active ingredient). Are the meds effective – the potential for increased initial acute gout attacks doesn’t sound appealing?

    I never knew pain before I felt what gout is !

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply August 13, 2016

      Hi Brian!

      Yes allopurinol is very effective in keeping your uric acid levels low so you don’t suffer another gout attack. It is the most prescribed drug in the world for lowering uric acid long term.

      Best of luck!

  • Partha

    Reply Reply August 2, 2016

    Hi Spiro,
    Does allopurinol and diet go hand in hand? I mean, while on allopurinol, do we have to be as strict on diet compared to a diet control without allopurinol? Once again, thanks for your wonderful service to the gout community

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply August 2, 2016

      Hi Partha!

      If you want to eat what you want and keep your bad eating habits, even though you are taking allopurinol, your health will worsen over time especially if you suffer from gout, since you are at an increased risk of so many other gout complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney stones et…Always follow a strict gout diet and eat what you want on occassion only.

  • partha

    Reply Reply July 29, 2016

    Hi Spiro,
    While doing research on the net, I came across your wonderful website. I have been diagnosed with gout recently and had 3 attacks in the past one year. The third attack was the most debilitating one and sent me to the ER The doctor gave me an NSAID (indomethacin), which calmed the flare down in about 3-4 days Now y faily doctor wants me to go in a regimen of 200mg allopurinol . Reading about its side affects, I a a bit concerned. Should I go for it or should I concentrate on my diet to control uric acid levels?

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 29, 2016

      Hi Partha!

      As always I can’t give any advice on prescription drugs since I am not a doctor and do not know enough information about your overall health and blood work metrics. Best you talk to your doctor first and propose a strict diet and measure your uric acid levels over the next few months to monitor results. See what he tells you. Best of luck!

  • Mark

    Reply Reply July 27, 2016

    Hi Spiro,

    Should I take Colchicine and Indomethacin at the same time when I get a gout flare up?

    Should I continue to take Allopurinol during a Gout Flare up?

    Is Ibuprofen allowed to be used with Colchicine and Indomethacin?

    Thank you.


    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply July 27, 2016

      Sorry Mark I don’t provide any advice on prescription drugs, please see your doctor for that since he knows your situation best (uric acid levels and other blood work metrics). If you have questions about foods and gout diet, I’d be happy to answer your questions.

  • John Heropoulos

    Reply Reply May 17, 2016

    Is it ok to take ginger, cinnamon and turmeric at the same time. Is there any reaction that could be bad regarding how they interact with one another?
    Thank you,
    John Heropoulos

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply May 18, 2016

      Hi John!

      If you are taking any medications then do consult your doctor to make sure there are no dangerous reactions but preferably take either ginger or turmeric with cinnamon since turmeric and ginger are almost the same really, maybe switch it up here and there. You shouldn’t have any reactions unless you are allergic to any of these.

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