Frequently Asked Questions

8. What are the most common treatments for an acute attack of gout?

Physicians often prescribe high doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or steroids for a sudden attack of gout. NSAIDs are taken by mouth and corticosteroids are either taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint. Patients often begin to improve within a few hours of treatment, and the attack usually goes away completely within a week or so.

When NSAIDs or corticosteroids fail to control pain and swelling, the doctor may use another drug, colchicine. This drug is most effective when taken within the first 12 hours of an acute attack.

For patients who have repeated gout attacks, the doctor may prescribe medicine such as allupurinol, febuxostat, or probenecid to lower uric acid levels. In severe cases of gout that do not respond to other treatments, pegloticase, a medicine administered by intravenous infusion, may be prescribed to reduce levels of uric acid.