Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have had the condition for years, you may have wondered whether or not there is a cure for gout. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the short answer is “no.”1 However, you don’t have to live in fear of gout attacks (also known as flares).1 For many people, gout can be effectively controlled with medication and self-management strategies.1 Read on to learn more.
What is gout?
Gout actually is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the bloodstream.2 Over time (months to years) this excess uric acid can cause urate crystals to form around the joints.2 Eventually, these crystals can cause episodes of excruciating pain, redness and swelling called attacks or flares.2 They can also result in unsightly white or yellowish lumps under the skin called tophi (TOE-fye).2 According to a study published in 2019, gout affects approximately 9.2 million Americans—about 5.9 million men and about 3.3 million women.3
What causes gout?
The underlying cause of gout is excess uric acid in the body, a condition known as hyperuricemia.2 Your risk of developing gout can be increased by many factors—some of which you can control, others you cannot.2 Common risk factors for gout include2:
- Genetics—Having a family history of gout.
- Gender—Being male.
- Weight—Being overweight.
- Diet—Consuming certain types of meat and seafood, as well as sweetened and/or alcoholic beverages.
How do you manage gout?
While there is no known cure for gout, the long-term goal of gout management is to reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream and maintain it at a normal level.4 This can help to4:
- Dissolve the uric acid crystals around the joints
- Reduce the frequency of gout flares
- Break up tophi
- Prevent joint damage
For many people, the uric acid level in the bloodstream can be reduced with urate-lowering therapy (ULT).4 The most commonly used ULT is a drug called allopurinol.4
How do you prevent gout attacks?
For many people, allopurinol can reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream.4 However, the risk of gout flares can increase as the urate crystals begin to dissolve.4 Fortunately, when used as directed, anti-inflammatory medicines such as colchicine can help prevent gout flares in adults who are starting allopurinol or another ULT.4 Colchicine is the active ingredient in Mitigare® (Colchicine) 0.6 mg Capsules, a prescription drug that is indicated for the prevention of gout flares in adults.5 Generic Colchicine 0.6 mg Capsules are also available.
How can my doctor help me control my gout?
If you have gout, it is important to stay in close contact with your doctor. While your doctor cannot provide a cure for gout, he or she can help you manage the condition and maintain your health. Be sure to keep all of your scheduled appointments, and talk with your doctor about:
- Gout symptoms you’re having (ie, how and when they occur)
- Recent changes or stresses in your life (eg, job, family, health changes)
- Medication changes (including supplements)
You may also consider tracking your gout flares and sharing this information with your doctor at your appointments.
Mitigare® is a registered trademark of Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.
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®.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions with colchicine are gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
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.