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.