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What treatments work for gout?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

There are treatments that may relieve your pain and swelling during an attack of gout, but they can all cause side effects. There are also things you can try to prevent your gout returning. But the research into gout treatments is not very good, so we can't be sure how well they work.

  • A short course of anti-inflammatory painkillers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) should ease your symptoms.

  • Colchicine is a medicine that's been used to treat gout for a long time, but it often causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

  • If you get repeated attacks of gout, you could take a medicine called allopurinol to try to stop it coming back.

  • Making some simple changes to what you eat and drink may lower the urate levels in your blood. This might stop your gout returning.

  • There are some things you can do yourself to manage the pain of a gout attack. For more information see Self-help during an attack of gout.

We've looked closely at the research on treatments for gout and also at treatments used to control this disease. We normally rank the treatments into categories, according to whether they work. But there isn't enough high-quality evidence for any of the treatments for gout. Although doctors agree that many of these treatments can help, we need further research to know how well they work.

We've looked at treatments for gout and treatments to prevent gout attacks separately:

  • Treatments for an attack of gout. These treatments are aimed at easing your symptoms during an attack of gout.

  • Treatments to prevent gout. These treatments are aimed at preventing you from getting another attack of gout.

Treatments for an attack of gout

Treatments that need further study

Treatments to prevent gout

Treatments that need further study

Citations

For references related to Gout click here.
Last Updated: March 18, 2011
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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