Most gout patients can hardly manage without some form of medication. Gout sufferers however each have unique needs. Not every kind of medicine will work as treatment for gout for all patients. Medication duration, quantity and combination should therefore be determined by a qualified doctor. His medication assessment should be based on the specific condition of the patient and on what has proven to be effective for the patient. Here are some medicines used as treatment for gout:
Colchicine – This was one of the first treatment options developed for gout. The drug however is usually best taken at the early stages of an attack. It may not thoroughly be a very effective treatment for gout if taken late. In some patients, this medication may be used as part of preventive measures to limit further gout attacks. Side effects of this medicine may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and dehydration.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – These drugs are commonly taken as treatment for gout to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Thy may however, cause abdominal pain and ulcers if taken for a prolonged time and in high doses. Short-term high doses are recommended when taking NSAIDS.
Corticosteroids – For some people NSAIDS or colchicine may be contraindicated. They may have certain conditions for which these medications may prove to be harmful. These patients may be asked to take steroids instead. Steroids as treatment for gout also relieve pain and inflammation. Steroids may be injected or taken orally.
Other medications used as treatment for gout may be prescribed to manage the uric acid levels in the body. This is a good way to prevent future attacks of gout. Medications may either help increase the elimination of uric acid from the body or decrease the quantity of uric acid generated in the body.
Surgery is not often considered as a primary treatment for gout. Surgery is often resorted to only under severe circumstances and when medication is no longer effective. Surgery may be recommended if urate crystals build up too much, resulting in an accumulation known as tophi.
Usually, medical treatment for gout is accompanied by certain lifestyle modifications. One aspect that should immediately be managed is a person’s diet. Foods and drinks such as organ meat, beer and red meat are high in purines which is the substance that is eventually broken down to form uric acid. By limiting the intake of these foods, one also limits the amount of purine in the body.
One should also strive to keep near one’s ideal weight as much as possible without resorting to crash dieting. Both being overweight and dieting improperly could put a person at risk of increasing uric acid levels.
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