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You use medicine to treat an attack of gout and to reduce the uric acid in the blood. Reducing uric acid helps reduce how often you have attacks.
Medicine treatment for gout usually involves some combination of short- and long-term medicines.
Short-term medicine relieves pain and reduces inflammation during an acute attack or prevents a recurrence of an acute attack. These medicines may include:
Relief from symptoms often occurs within 24 hours if treatment is started right away.
During a gout attack, your doctor will prescribe a maximum daily dose of one or more medicines used for short-term treatment to stop the attack. Doses are then reduced as the symptoms go away.
Long-term treatment uses medicines to lower uric acid levels in the blood. This can reduce how often you have gout attacks and how severe they are. These medicines may include:
If your doctor prescribes medicine to lower your uric acid levels, be sure to take it as directed. Most people take this medicine for the rest of their lives. It is also important to know how to take it:
What to think about
Long-term medicine treatment depends on how high your uric acid levels are and how likely other gout attacks are. In general, the higher your uric acid levels and the more often you have attacks, the more likely it is that long-term medicine treatment will help.
Some people with gout have continuing problems because they don't take their prescribed medicine. Most people will need treatment for the rest of their lives to keep their uric acid levels in their blood normal. But they may feel perfectly healthy most of the time and wonder why they should keep taking their medicine. If you stop taking your prescribed medicine, nothing may happen at first. But after a while, another gout attack is likely to occur. Without treatment, future attacks are likely to be more severe and occur more often.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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