Gout

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Gout occurs more often in men than women. It affects about two per cent of both men over age 30 and women over age 50 in Canada.

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What is Gout?
What causes Gout?
Trends in Gout
Types of Gout
How does your doctor diagnose Gout?
The goals of gout treatment are to:
  1. Provide relief of acute attacks.
  2. Prevent further attacks.
  3. Prevent damage to the joints.
  4. Prevent and manage the complications associated with gout.
Preventive measures include, but are not limited to, changes in lifestyle that can prevent gout attacks as well as associated conditions. 

Your doctor may recommend both medical and non-medical therapies for gout. Treatment for acute attacks includes rest, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine and cortisone.

Medical treatment of gout usually falls under the following categories:
  1. Treatment of an acute attack: This usually involves the administration of anti-inflammatory medications, such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids. Colchicine is used to suppress gout if the attack is caught in the first 24 hours and is usually given orally in tablet form and repeated. It may cause diarrhea if the dose is too high.
  2. Lowering the uric acid level: While some people with gout may not require treatment to lower levels of uric acid, this is usually necessary for those who experience frequent attacks, have tophaceous gout or have uric acid kidney stones.
Medications for reducing uric acid levels either act to block its formation or increase the excretion of uric acid in the kidney. They should not be used until the gout attack has completely subsided. If your doctor decides that you need to take medication for your gout, you may need to take it forever to prevent more attacks. Be sure to discuss all treatments with your doctor.
Arthritis medications are designed to control a disease, slow its progression, and to help manage pain. There is a wide range of options – with new ones coming on the horizon – so understanding all possible treatments is not easy. 

These medications can be very complex, so you are encouraged to ask for in-depth explanations from your health care team – including pharmacists, who are an excellent source of information. 

To explore this area of treatment, The Arthritis Society has developed a comprehensive expert guide that delivers detailed information on medications used to treat arthritis.

Explore the Arthritis Medications A Reference Guide

The optimal treatment is what is best in each individual case – so speak with your doctor and/or pharmacist about what kind of medications are most appropriate for you.

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