Gout attacks, or flares, can be caused by a number of triggers.1-3 Although some of them are outside of your control, others may be avoidable.1-3 Keeping track of your gout attacks and the circumstances that surround them may help you to identify and steer clear of your potential gout triggers. Read on to learn more about how to track your gout attacks.
Gout is caused by abnormally high levels of uric acid in the body.1 When the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream reaches a certain level, needle-shaped urate crystals can begin to form in the joints.2 When triggered, these crystals can cause the redness, inflammation and severe pain that you may have come to know as a gout attack.2
Gout triggers you can’t control
Many gout triggers are medical- and/or health-related, and therefore out of your control.2,3 These triggers include2,3:
- Joint injury
- Sudden, severe illness
- Certain medications, including allopurinol or other urate-lowering therapy (ULT)
- Radiation therapy
- Sudden weight loss
Gout triggers you can control
Other gout attack triggers are lifestyle-related. These triggers, which may be avoidable, include:
- Certain foods, such as red meat and shellfish
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sugary beverages
- Crash dieting and/or fasting
It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different and not every trigger will cause a gout attack. Some people experience more frequent attacks when they start treatment with allopurinol or another ULT.1 Others might be more likely to suffer an attack when they drink beer or eat shrimp.1
Tracking your attacks
Try keeping track of your gout attacks using a chart like the one below.
|Date and Time||Joint(s) affected||Symptoms (redness, swelling, pain, etc.)||Duration||Intensity (on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most intense pain imaginable)||Special circumstances (ie, illness, diet, recent medical treatments)|
You can also keep notes on your attacks in a journal.
Once you’ve tracked your attacks for several months, look through your chart or notes and try to identify patterns. For example, if you notice you suffer gout attacks more frequently when you drink soda, sugary beverages are potentially a gout trigger for you.1 If you love a steak dinner but find yourself with painful big toe a few hours later, red meat may be the culprit.1
Preventing future gout attacks
If you suffer with frequent gout attacks, be sure to tell your doctor. Gout attacks may be prevented with medication. One such medication, Mitigare® (Colchicine) 0.6 mg Capsules, is FDA-approved to prevent gout attacks in adults.4 The safety and effectiveness of Mitigare® for acute treatment of gout flares during prophylaxis has not been studied. Mitigare® is not an analgesic medication and should not be used to treat pain from other causes. To learn more about Mitigare® and how it may be able to help you prevent gout attacks, talk with your doctor.4
Mitigare® is a registered trademark of Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.
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®.
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.