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When to Seek Medical Care
Anyone who has a sudden onset of a hot, red, swollen joint should seek medical care, either with a primary-care physician, at an emergency department, or with a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist). These symptoms can also be due to an infection, loss of cartilage in the joint, or other reasons. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of gouty arthritis as the treatment ultimately is guided by the cause of the inflammation.
If you have been diagnosed with gout and have more than one attack of arthritis, you should take the medication prescribed by your physician for these attacks. You should be seen by your physician, in the emergency department, or urgent care center if your attack does not respond to this treatment. You may need medications to prevent further arthritis flares.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2014
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