1. Health

Video:Side Effects of Gout Drugs

with Dr. Pamela Rosenthal

Gout medication, while helpful and effective, can occasionally have unwanted side effects. This health video from About.com will explain some of the more common side effects to look out for if you're taking gout medication.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Health Videos
  • Arthritis Videos

Transcript:Side Effects of Gout Drugs

Hi, I'm Dr. Pamela Rosenthal, Rheumotologist at the NYU Langone Medical Center for About.com. In this video, I'll be discussing some common side effects of gout medications.

Gout Medication: NSAIDs

Standard care for an acute gout attack are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include drugs such as indomethacin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. The classic side effects of those medications are gastric ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeds. In addition, they have kidney side effects and they can also contribute to elevations in blood pressures. For a gout attack, you are usually taking them for a few days and not much longer, so for this short period of time, you're probably going to be okay, although you should be aware that these are common side effects. However, if you're someone who's ever had a gastric ulcer or if you are someone on blood thinners, you should not be taking these medications.

Gout Medication: Prednisone

In the case of patients who cannot tolerate NSAIDS, or for whom NSAIDs are contraindicated, corticosteroids such as prednisone are very powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. Prednisone is a wonderful medication, but it has an incredibly long list of side effects, up to, and including, causing your blood sugars to be elevated. So, if you are person with diabetes, your blood sugars will quickly respond to this medication. Again, in the context of gout, we're using it for a short period of time. So most of the long-term side effects of corticosteroid therapy can be avoided just by using it for a short period of time.

Gout Medication: Colchicine

Colchicine is really the backbone of gout therapy. It can be used in the context of an acute attack and it can be used for chronic suppressive therapy. Daily colchicine tends to be extremely safe and well-tolerated. Like all medications, there are always side effects, but, by and large, colchicine is pretty safe and well tolerated.

Gout Medication: Allopurinol

Uric acid lowering therapy such as allopurinol can cause rashes, and can cause some impact on renal function, but overall, if you're one of those people for whom it's well tolerated, it is a great therapy. In addition it's important to know that if you think you're having an adverse reaction to a medication, you should most certainly call your physician. If you've checked your blood pressure and it's high, or if you're developing a rapidly progressive rash, you would certainly be indicated to go to your local emergency room.

Thank you for watching. To learn more, please visit About.com.

About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.