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Gout Treatment

Prevent future attacks

If you're reading this article, it's a good bet you're suffering from gout or know someone who is having an attack of gouty arthritis. You want to know that you or your loved ones are doing all they can to treat this intense and painful ailment. While there are certain lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to prevent future attacks, medication is an important part of your recovery. You'll want to discuss the pros and cons of various treatment options with your doctor.

NSAIDs might not be the right choice for you

In general, your first recourse is to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) such as Aleve, Advil, or Motrin. These are all over the counter (OTC) medications that are readily available at any pharmacy, and can help control the pain and inflammation of gout. There are also more powerful NSAIDs available by prescription only. Both the other the counter and prescription NSAIDs carry a risk of stomach pain, bleeding, and ulcers. If you are aspirin sensitive, NSAIDs might not be the right choice for you. Discuss this with your doctor, if you're unsure.

Colchicine is an excellent remedy for gout. It's quite effective at controlling gout; however, as is often the case with medications, colchicine can have some pretty unpleasant side effects. Some of these side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Colchicine is often the drug of choice for a gout patient who is sensitive to NSAIDs.

Steroids are often the treatment of last resort, sometimes reserved for those who can't take either NSAIDs or colchicine. Steroid medications such as prednisone are good at relieving the pain and inflammation of gout, and may be administered either as pills or as direct injections in the affected joint. Steroids may have several side effects, such as a decreased ability to stave off infections, bone thinning, and it can also cause poor wound healing.

Joint injections include a numbing agent so that the shot itself will be less painful. The local anesthetic contained in the injection can also aid the doctor in finding the exact spot for the injection. If you experience immediate relief, your doctor will know he's in the right place for an injection: placement is crucial in obtaining the desired results.

If you take blood thinners on a regular basis, your doctor might ask you to go off your regular medication for a few days to reduce the chance of bleeding at the site of the injection.