Gout is an arthritic condition which causes joints to become inflamed and painful to move or touch. An excess of uric acid in the bloodstream causes grit-like crystals to form in the joint spaces causing inflammation and sometimes irreversible damage.
- Painful swelling of joints
- Common condition caused by excess uric acid
- Can be prevented with medication
Please note that we do not currently offer treatments for gout. If you are experiencing symptoms, we recommend you visit your GP.
Gout is a condition which causes pain and swelling in the joints, mostly in the feet, but sometimes in the ankles, knees, elbows and wrists too. It tends to go through periods of flare-up and remission, and is treatable with medication.
Please note that we do not provide treatment for gout through our online service. Those who are experiencing gout symptoms and require treatment should go to their doctor in person. If you develop symptoms such as pain and swelling in the joints but you have not been diagnosed with gout before, then you should also be examined by a doctor in person.
Gout, also referred to as uric acid arthropathy, is a type of arthritis caused by the formation of tiny crystals in joint areas. These microscopic sodium urate crystals are often a result of too much uric acid in the bloodstream. In normal circumstances people’s bodies excrete this waste product from the body in urine or faeces, however, those with gout do not excrete enough or their body produces too much.
If there is too much urate in the blood it might not remain soluble thus forming crystals which then overflow into the spaces in between joints. Here the crystals can go on to irritate the lining of the joint, known as the synovium, making it swollen and inflamed. The affected area may turn red and can be extremely painful even if lightly touched.
Gout is a fairly common condition with around 1 in 45 people in the UK being diagnosed. It is more often seen in men with their first attack taking place after the age of 30. Women are more likely to develop the disease after the age of 60. This is due to levels of certain hormones dropping following the menopause, causing uric acid levels to increase. Although men may be more likely to be diagnosed, any person of any age can contract gout.
There is a chance that you may be predisposed to getting gout as it can run in families. However, there are also health and lifestyle factors that may increase your risk of developing gout. Medical conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, vascular disease, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis are known risk factors. Medications such as water tablets, beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors, aspirin and niacin can lead to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. A lifestyle which involves a diet high in purines that are found in red meat, seafood, offal, sugary drinks, beer and spirits can also contribute to the disease developing.
Some people may experience only a single attack of gout in their lifetime. Whereas, others might get them frequently and at increasingly painful rates. If gout is left untreated, lumps of crystals can join together and form visible bumps known as tophi. These bumps are found underneath the skin can be painful, unsightly and even lead to permanent joint damage. Another potential complication of this condition is kidney stones making it painful to pass urine.
Gout treatments such as Adenuric and Zyloric work by inhibiting the function of the enzyme xanthine oxidase which produces uric acid. By reducing the amount of urate in the bloodstream, the medications make it less likely that crystals will form.
If you think you may be developing symptoms of gout, you should see your GP. They will be able to assess your symptoms and administer medication as necessary.
When someone develops gout symptoms for the first time, a doctor will need to examine them in person in order to diagnose the condition.
Gout can lead to serious joint problems so treatment and lifestyle changes are often recommended.
Treatments such as Zyloric and Adenuric, may be prescribed to prevent gout symptoms from flaring.
Someone who has active gout symptoms will need to be seen by a doctor in person.
How do they work?
Zyloric and Adenuric are both xanthine-oxidase inhibitors that work by stopping uric acid from being produced. Zyloric contains the active ingredient allopurinol, whereas Adenuric contains febuxostat. These two ingredients work in the same way and actively reduce the amount of urate in the bloodstream, making it less likely for sodium urate crystals to form and for a gout attack to happen.
What are the side effects?
Both drugs have the potential to cause a range of side effects. For instance, Adenuric may cause diarrhoea or headache, and Zyloric might in rare cases cause joint pain.
This is not an exhaustive list. Refer to the leaflet for each product to find out more.
Can I take them with other medications?
This depends on the other medications you are taking. Your doctor will assess the likelihood of any interactions between medications during your consultation.
What’s the difference between the medications?
Zyloric and adenuric can be used to prevent gout attacks.
The treatments are all taken in tablet form, however your dosage may change depending on your circumstances. Zyloric and Adenuric work to reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood whereas Colchicine limits the number of white blood cells that travel to the affected joint.
Should I take Zyloric or Adenuric?
This will depend on which is best suited to you and your current health situation.
Your GP will help you to determine the best and most appropriate course of medication.
Are there different side effects?
Yes. Each medication comes with its own list of potential side effects although not every user will experience them.
It is important that you make yourself familiar with the reactions in case you develop any of them. Find out more by referring to the patient information leaflet.
Is it right for me?
The gout treatment you use will be decided on by your doctor during consultation.
To find out more about the medicine options available, we recommend you speak to your GP in person.
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