NSAIDs for Gout

Gout and NSAIDs

Relieve the pain with NSAIDs

When I got my first gout attack and was diagnosed with the disease, my doctor prescribed me NSAIDs and Coclchicine so I can walk again normally from the pain. That is the only time I used them, because I think I was limping for like 2-3 weeks when I first was diagnosed with gout. My other attacks weren’t as painful and long in duration, only lasting a few days.

So what are NSAIDs (pronounced En-sedz)?

The acronym stands for “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” and that are many different types of these drugs. Did you know that we have been using NSAIDs to treat diseases since 1763? They are painkillers that reduce inflammation in the affected area like your toe or knee from your gout attack, working in reducing the levels of pain and are usually recommended as an initial treatment for gout. NSAIDs are also used to relieve arthritis. Steroids may be taken by mouth or by injection into the bloodstream or muscle.

NSAIDs used often to treat gout include the following:

  • Diclofenac (brand name Voltarol)
  • Indometacin (usually the first choice of physicians)
  • Etoricoxib (brand name Arcoxia)
  • Ibuprofen (you can buy this in pharmacies under brand name Advil, Motrin)
  • Ketoprofen ( brand names Orudis, Oruvail)
  • Naproxen ( brand names Naprosyn, Arthoxen)
  • Etodolac (brand name Lodine)
  • Fenoprofen (brand name Nalfon)
  • Tolmetin (brand name Tolectin)
  • Nabumetone (brand name Relafen)
  • Meloxicam (brand name Mobic)
  • Sulindac (brand name Clinoril)

Tart Cherry Extract for Gout

On a side note, Aspirin is a NSAID but not recommended for gout. Studies have shown that aspirin can raise the levels of uric acid in the blood. Corticosteroids can also be used and Prednisone is the most commonly prescribed and is often used in people who are unable to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine. Use of NSAIDs usually relieves the symptoms of a gout attack within 48 hours.

New research shows that a steroid pill may be as good as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for treating painful gout.

What are the side effects of NSAIDS?

As with any drug, there are side effects that can be experienced by different individuals like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, tiredness, headaches and can irritate the lining in your stomach which can cause bleeding in the stomach and/or ulcers especially if you are elederly. People with reduced kidney function or those with conditions such as stomach ulcers or bleeding should avoid using NSAIDs. Make sure to consult your doctor before using NSAIDs to treat gout. When used effectively and in the appropriate doses, NSAID drugs can be very effective against gout attacks. I’d like to hear from your experiences, please don’t forget to add your comments.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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18 Comments

  • Ioannis S.

    Reply Reply November 17, 2015

    My name is Ioannis and I am from Greece. My profession is Anesthesiologist (MD). I found your site extremely helpful because a close friend of mine suffers from gout. He is 65 years old, active (busy lawyer) and slightly obese. Is in treatment with the usual allopurinol and small dose of colchicine daily. Possibly will pass to febuxostat. In severe crisis uses an increased dose of colchicine plus rest, ice etc. In the past (maybe 10 years or so) a rheumatologist gave him, among the other usual drugs, and a small dose of injectable nandronolone (50mg/once a month). Although is reasonable to me that he felt better (anabolic effects), he also had no more crisis. He stopped the anabolic steroid (because of the fear of the steroid itself and the usual talking about it) and things return as it is. Some times had even cortisone (injectable) with no results. Not wanting to take more of your precious time, I would like to ask you about your thoughts in some problems. Initially the good results in mood, power, bones and anti inflammatory properties of small doses of nandronolone are known (obviously and the side effects). Is it possible that the anabolic effects counteract the catabolic effects that lead to excessive uric acid followed by arthritis and gout? Is it possible that the tendons and bone strengthening leads to some kind or relief ? During my search at PUBMED I found almost nothing (except things like “prolonged starvation leads to gout crisis”).

    Thank you for your time and thoughts.

    Sincerely yours,
    Ioannis S., MD

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply November 17, 2015

      Hi Gianni!

      All steroids or NSAIDs as they call them do is stop the pain, I don’t think it raises or decreases uric acid in the blood. If your friend felt pain with his gout then it’s common to prescribe cortisone and/or other steroids to rid of the pain.

      Of course if tendons and bones are strengthened you will experience relief to a certain point cause gout slowly wears down your tendons, cartilage and bones. See my post on NSAIDs and also advise your friend to exercise, ask him if he is willing to try out yoga and light strength exercises to build up his bones, tendons and eat a proper diet to rebuild cartilage and tendons like foods high in:

      Vitamin B3
      Amino acids
      Vitamin C
      Vitamin E
      Vitamin B12
      Calcium

      Make sure he loses weight and changes his lifestyle habits to more healthy living.

      Thanks for your question.

  • Sue m.

    Reply Reply June 25, 2015

    was just today told I have gout. My doctor prescribed some powerful meds. But have a friend who controls her attacks through diet alone and I will attempt to do the same. Thanks to all of you who have offered helpful suggestions.

  • Lucinda

    Reply Reply January 14, 2015

    I had gout attacks and a bad 1 that wont go away I tryed the medication for it 2 of them still not better had this 3 months now I can’t do walking or any daily activities inside or outside cuz of my gout attacks I have arthritis to in my big toe let me tell ya its like hell this is I can’t sleep.please help me if you have any idea what I need to do sincerely Lucinda.

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply January 15, 2015

      Hi Lucinda!
      It sounds live you have severe gout, so I think you should follow your doctor’s advice, get a 2nd opinion as well. All I can tell you is to drink only water and nothing else for now. Cut your meat intake completely until you feel better and eat lots of vegetables, fruit, whole wheat breads and pasta, whole grain rice. Complex carbohydrates burn clean so your kidneys won’t work too hard in breaking them down. Try and eat for now about 10% of your daily calories as fat like eggs, milk, cheese, butter and so on. Do not drink any alcohol whatsoever or sugary drinks like colas and fruit juices. Try and keep your sugar intake to a maximum of 25 grams a day if you can. It sounds hard believe me but discipline is key to success in everything you do in life, wouldn’t you agree? I hope things improve for you soon!

  • John

    Reply Reply August 7, 2014

    Spiro, thanks for the blog and info. I’ve been getting gout for a long time; however, it had been years since my last attacks but over the last three months I’ve had three episodes. I’m also a diabetic so watching my food intake as you can imagine. Ibuprofen used to work very well but not so much any more. I’ve tried NSAIDS recently, Indomethacin in particular. I’m only on my second day and hoping for the best. I drink a ton of water already but upping that as well. Thanks again for the blog. I’ll be sure to provide an update on how the Indo works.

    V/r, John

    • Spiro Koulouris

      Reply Reply August 10, 2014

      Fight the good fight John and don’t forget to alter your diet as well! Watching what you eat can do wonders for your gout too!

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