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Corticosteroids for Gout


Generic NameBrand Name
dexamethasoneCortef, Medrol, Kenalog
hydrocortisoneCortef, Medrol, Kenalog
methylprednisoloneCortef, Medrol, Kenalog
prednisoneCortef, Medrol, Kenalog
triamcinoloneCortef, Medrol, Kenalog

Depending on the drug, steroids may be given intravenously, as pills, or as an injection.

How It Works

Corticosteroids decrease the pain, swelling, redness, and warmth (inflammation) of gout.

Why It Is Used

Corticosteroids may be used for:

Corticosteroids should not be given to people who have a joint infection.

How Well It Works

Corticosteroids usually provide rapid relief from gout symptoms.2 Because of their potential side effects if used for a long time, corticosteroids are usually prescribed only for a short time.1

Side Effects

Common short-term side effects include:

Uncommon short-term side effects include:

Long-term side effects include:

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

  • Corticosteroids are most often used in people who are unable to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine. If only one joint is affected, injection of corticosteroids into the joint may be most effective. If multiple joints are involved, corticosteroids may be injected into a vein or muscle or taken by mouth in pill form, in gradually decreasing doses.
  • Corticosteroids should not be used when bacterial arthritis is present.
  • People with high blood pressure should monitor their pressure while they are using corticosteroids.
  • People with diabetes may need more medicine or insulin when they are using corticosteroids to treat their gout.

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  1. Rott KT, Agudelo CA (2003). Gout. JAMA, 289(21): 2857–2860.

  2. Terkeltaub R (2008). Gout and hyperuricemia section of Crystal deposition diseases. In L Goldman, D Ausiello, eds., Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed., pp. 2069–2075. Philadelphia: Saunders.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last RevisedJuly 9, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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