‘Tis the season for family get-togethers, parties and other gatherings where eating and drinking are the focus. If you have gout, however, you may be worried about how small changes in your diet can turn into big gout flares.1 But take heart—with a little advance planning you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest in spite of gout.
Focus on family and friends
For many of us, food is a big part of our holidays and important events. Although eating and drinking together may play a major role in your traditions, be sure to also focus on the people around you. Catch up with a nephew who just started college. Play a game with your grandchild. Go for a walk with your spouse. Make the most of the time you have together.
Consider eating beforehand
If you’re attending a casual party that doesn’t include a sit-down meal, consider eating at home beforehand. When you do, you’ll have more control over your food choices and can eat what’s best for you. Plus, if you arrive at a gathering feeling hungry, you may overeat or choose foods you would normally avoid. If your host and/or hostess approves, consider bringing a gout-friendly appetizer that you know you and other guests will enjoy.
Choose non-alcoholic beverages
If you have gout, you’ve probably heard that drinking alcohol can raise your risk of a gout flare.1 Opt for a non-alcoholic beverage instead of a beer or a glass of wine at your holiday get-together. Try flavored seltzer and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime for a festive and refreshing alternative to alcohol.
Increase your water intake
Drinking more water may help reduce your risk of gout flares. A study from 2009 showed that with each glass of water consumed in the 24 hours before an attack, the risk for recurrent gout attacks decreased.2 (The study could not make a specific recommendation about how much water is most beneficial, however.2) Talk with your doctor about the right amount of water for you to drink each day.
It may seem tougher than ever to exercise during the holidays because you feel you are too busy or would rather spend your free time with family and friends. However, the holidays are a time when exercise becomes even more important—it can help relieve stress3, offset extra calories4, and give you a sense of well being3. But if you’re new to exercise, be sure to talk with your doctor before you start. Your doctor knows your current health status and potential limitations and can help you develop an exercise plan that works best for you.
Take your medication
If you suffer with gout, you may be taking a urate-lowering therapy (ULT) such as allopurinol.5 Your doctor may have also prescribed Mitigare® (Colchicine) 0.6 mg Capsules or to help prevent gout flares.6 Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and take all of your medications as directed. Also, be sure you have enough medicine to get yourself through the holidays—especially if you’re away from home (and your local pharmacy).
Important Safety Information
Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4. Combining these dual inhibitors with colchicine in patients with renal or hepatic impairment has resulted in life-threatening or fatal colchicine toxicity. Patients with both renal and hepatic impairment should not be given Mitigare®.
Fatal overdoses have been reported with colchicine in adults and children. Keep Mitigare® out of the reach of children.
Blood dyscrasias such as myelosuppression, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and aplastic anemia have been reported with colchicine used in therapeutic doses.
Monitor for toxicity and if present consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of colchicine.
Drug interaction with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors: Co-administration of colchicine with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors has resulted in life-threatening interactions and death.
Neuromuscular toxicity and rhabdomyolysis may occur with chronic treatment with colchicine in therapeutic doses, especially in combination with other drugs known to cause this effect. Patients with impaired renal function and elderly patients (including those with normal renal and hepatic function) are at increased risk. Consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of Mitigare®.
Please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for Mitigare® for complete product details.
NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute for the guidance of a physician. These are not Hikma’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.
Mitigare® is a registered trademark of Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.