New Gout Treatments
It seems things are happening in the area of gout research and treatments these days. There have been a few new studies conducted and the results have influenced the production of new medicines to address the symptoms and causes of gout. Find out why things are better now than they have ever been before for gout treatment.
Several New Treatments Coming Out of Europe
In Europe, the medicine known as febuxostat has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and is now available for sale there and in many other countries. It is not, at this time, available in the United States. Producers of another product, called pegloticase, are to have applied for US approval in late 2008.
Two new anti-gout compounds were presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting in Paris in June, 2008. These compounds, at present referred to as RDEA806 and RDEA594, have shown in early human studies that they are able to create a potent reduction of uric acid, the substance which, in excess, is the cause of most cases of gout. Although there are many years of trials ahead, RDEA594 will be developed as a medication for the reduction of uric acid.
Febuxostat and Peglosticase - Able to Dissolve Tophi
Both febuxostat, sold under the trade name Adenuric, and peglosticase, present the very encouraging ability to dissolve tophi. Tophi are the lumps of monosodium uric crystals which appear on the bodies of long-time gout sufferers who have found no relief through natural or medicinal routes. The tophi can appear on the lower extremities, far from the heart, such as the toes and ankles, and they also appear on the knees, fingers, elbows and hands. They may be benign or, if they are not benign, they can burst out of the skin and become ulcerated and septic. If they are septic, it can lead to septicaemia, bacterial blood infection, which can not only destroy joints and bones, but can also be fatal.
Tophi Can Be Stopped or Dissolved
It is possible to stop the growth of tophi and dissolve them if the levels of uric acid in the blood can be reduced to 6mg/dL, or lower. Outside of lowering the uric acid levels in the blood, the only other way to deal with tophi is by surgical removal. The good news is that in phase 3 trials for both febuxostat and peglosticase, the results have been successful against tophi. But, it took time. Trial extensions to two years for febuxostat showed it delivered a complete tophi removal success rate of over 50 percent. Peglosticase has also indicated success in tophi removal but it has not yet been approved for market.
It Will Take Time, But It Works!
The success of febuxostat is contingent upon the number, size and location of the tophi in the body, uric acid levels at the beginning of the treatment, and the patient's ability to comply with the treatment. So far, febuxostat has shown the most success after a three year period of treatment. It appears that peglosticase will react similarly, with a longer period of treatment providing greater results.