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Principles of gout management 

Principles of gout management
Principles of gout management

Pascal Richette

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date: 25 January 2021

The general goals of gout therapy are to manage acute flares and to prevent recurrences and prevent or reverse the complications of urate deposition by lowering urate levels. The choice of drug should be made on the basis of the patient’s co-morbidities, other medications, and side effect profile. Treatment of flares can be achieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, or corticosteroids (systemic or intra-articular). Interleukin-1 blockers could become an alternative in patients contraindicated for traditional anti-inflammatory agents. Lowering of urate levels below monosodium urate (MSU) saturation point with both a non-pharmacological and pharmacological approach allows to dissolve MSU crystals and to cure gout. Serum urate (SUA) levels should be maintained below 6 mg/dL (360 μ‎mol/L) or below 5 mg/dL (300 μ‎mol/L) in patients with severe gout to facilitate faster dissolution of crystals. Urate-lowering therapy (ULT) should be initiated close to the first diagnosis of gout. Allopurinol and febuxostat are the most widely used xanthine oxidase inhibitors to lower SUA levels. If the SUA target cannot be reached by these agents, uricosurics are indicated, either alone or in combination with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. In patients with severe tophaceous gout in whom the SUA target cannot be reached with any other available drug, pegloticase is indicated. Since ULT initiation may trigger acute attacks of gout, prophylaxis with an anti-inflammatory agent is recommended, mostly with low-dose colchicine. Of note, patient education, appropriate lifestyle advice, and treatment of comorbidities are also important parts of the management of patients with gout.

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