What is Gout and what causes it?

Gout is a disease that results from an overload of uric acid in the body. It is a painful kind of arthritis that commonly affects the toes. Some other parts of the body may also be affected, such as the ankles, knees, hands, elbows, and fingers. It is characterized by redness, swelling, and pain around the joints. Gout is considered a chronic and progressive disease. Chronic gout can also lead to deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in the tissues, particularly in and around the joints and may cause joint destruction, decreased kidney function.

What are the symptoms of gout?

The most common symptom of gout is the redness and swelling of its most commonly affected part, the big toes. Acute gout attacks are characterized by a rapid onset of pain in the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, and reddish discoloration. Most patients of gout experience the reoccurrence of gout attacks over the years. If gout symptoms are felt, it is best to provide correct and immediate medications.

What are the medications for gout?

Medication for gout is not given until the gout attacks are over. Giving these medicines during a gout attack may worsen the situation as the uric acid may move elsewhere in the body. The span of time wherein the medication is given depends on the levels of uric acid in the body. The higher the level and the more gout attacks occur, the longer is the medication.

Medication for gout usually involved NSAIDs or Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or indomethacin should be taken as soon as symptoms begin. The patient should be cautious, though, in taking these medicines. Expert advice and proper dosage are needed.  Health care providers may also prescribe strong painkillers such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.

Corticosteroids may also be given as medication for gout. These may be given to people who cannot take NSAIDs. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation by reducing the activity of the immune system. These reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in order to minimize tissue damage. However, taking these medicines may cause some side effects such as increased appetite and weight gain, muscle weakness, blurred vision, lower resistance to infection, acne, osteoporosis, stomach irritation, high blood pressure, nervousness, and sudden mood swings. It must be noted that not all patients taking corticosteroids will experience these side effects.

Prednisone can also be used as a medication for gout. Prednisone is a drug that is used to treat inflammation. It prevents the release of substances in the body the cause inflammation. This drug is also used to treat other diseases such as psoriasis, allergic disorders, breathing disorders, and skin allergies. It has also been used in the treatment of severe tuberculosis, thyroiditis, laryngitis, asthma, and migraine. Prednisone is also sometimes used to treat the symptoms of certain types of cancer. It works to treat other conditions by reducing swelling and redness and by changing the way the immune system works.

Medication for gout treatment must be taken with the advice of your doctor to prevent unwanted side effects and complications.