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Gout Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
Reviewed by Buoy's medical team
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Care Plan

1

First steps to consider

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Within 1–2 days
Treatable by virtual or in-person visit
  • See a healthcare provider if you have never been treated for gout or are having a bad flare-up.
  • Prescription medications are usually needed.
  • Left untreated, gout can lead to serious complications like joint damage.

Symptom relief

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  • You can help relieve pain with OTC medications, ice, and raising your affected limb.

Emergency Care

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Call 911 or go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A joint is hot and inflamed and you have a fever

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Treat

All treatments for gout
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Read more about gout care options

When to see a healthcare provider

If you have gout symptoms like sudden pain, redness, swelling, and stiffness in a joint (especially the big toe), you should call a healthcare provider. Without proper treatment, gout can cause erosion and destruction of the affected joint, cause tophi (small stones) to form, and increase your risk of kidney stones and heart disease.

Call your doctor at the first signs of a gout flare. It’s best to start treatment as soon as possible, ideally within a few hours of your symptoms starting. This way, you’ll get quicker relief from your symptoms.

Getting diagnosed

Your doctor can diagnose gout based on your symptoms and the appearance of the affected joint. There are also several tests that help diagnose gout, including:

  • Blood test to measure levels of uric acid.
  • X-rays to rule out other possible causes of joint inflammation.

What to expect from your visit

When you are treated for gout by a doctor, they will ask questions about your symptoms, how often your gout flares occur, what medications you’re taking, and other medical conditions you may have. Your answers help determine the best type of treatment for you.

  • You might be prescribed oral glucocorticoids (steroids) or stronger anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or indomethacin.
  • Another option is colchicine.
  • These drugs all reduce inflammation but may take several days to get rid of the pain completely.
  • If you have frequent flare-ups or have extremely painful and disabling flares or have tophi, your doctor may prescribe urate-lowering medications. These prevent future flares and may reduce or eliminate tophi.

Prescription gout medications

  • Colchicine
  • Oral, intravenous, or injectable corticosteroids
  • Urate lowering medications such as allopurinol and febuxostat (Uloric), probenecid (Probalan), or pegloticase (Krystexxa)

Types of providers

  • Your primary care provider can usually help monitor gout and control it once a rheumatologist has diagnosed and effectively treated it.
  • A rheumatologist specializes in diagnosing and treating people with gout and other forms of arthritis.
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FAQ

Frequently asked questions