Gout medications have side effects ranging from mild to severe, with some even life-threatening. As gout is on the increase in society today, and mainstream treatment is drug-based, gout sufferers need to be aware of the possible side effects of certain gout medications. In this short article you’ll discover possible side effects of the most common anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat gout.
Who is at Risk of Suffering Gout Medication Side Effects?
The first thing to recognise is that just because a certain medication has a list of possible side effects against it, that doesn’t mean you are certain to experience any at all. A lot depends on the individual and the drug being taken. Some, not all, may suffer one or more of the most common side effects, but a lot less will experience one or more of the more serious side effects. And some side effects are very rare indeed.
Typical of the issues that can raise the propensity of a gout patient to suffer negative side effects are; age of the patient, other drugs being taken, existing medical conditions, the actual drug being prescribed for gout, dosage strength, and length of time being taken for.
What to Tell Your Doctor
Because of the above it is absolutely essential that, when your doctor is considering prescribing a medication for gout, you give them the following information…
– Any drugs you are taking.
– Any over-the-counter drugs, supplements, natural remedies, etc., you’re taking.
– If you are allergic to any drugs or their ingredients.
– Any other allergies.
– Any medical conditions you have or have had.
– If you are pregnant.
– If you are breast-feeding.
– If you are trying to get pregnant.
Your physician will use this important information to help him / her prescribe the right course of action for you.
Now let’s look at the gout medications that are commonly prescribed to reduce the inflammation and the pain of gout…
Side Effects of Gout Medication to Reduce Inflammation and Pain
The most widely used medications for gout are NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. And the most typical of these are Indomethacin (Indocin), Naproxen, and Ibuprofen.
These are effective anti-inflammatory drugs, but they do have a range of possible side effects, the most common of which are:- headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, drowsiness, tiredness, gas, and dizziness.
More serious are; ulcers, bleeding, perforation in the stomach / intestines, fluid retention, liver damage, severe allergic reactions, kidney problems / failure, higher risk of heart attack or stroke, and congestive heart failure.
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory steroid hormones which come in the form of tablets, creams, gels, lotions, inhalers and injections. For gout, corticosteroids are administered orally or by injection. Prednisone is probably the most used drug in this class. Corticosteroids can relieve pain within hours and have the potential to get rid of all your gout symptoms within a week or so.
Side effects are rare when the drug is taken at low dosages over a short period of time (days to weeks). Typically these are things like; nausea, increased appetite, weight gain, upset stomach, mood swings, headache, increased blood pressure, indigestion, dizziness and trouble sleeping.
With long-term use or high dosages, corticosteroids can cause; thinning of the bones, weakening of the immune system, increased risk of infection, slower wound healing, changes in blood sugar level, fluid retention, stomach ulcers, muscle weakness, acne, anxiety, depression.
In the case where neither NSAIDs nor Corticosteroids have proven to be effective, or where they are not suitable, then Colchicines may be prescribed.
These are very powerful drugs and very effective, especially when taken within 12 hours of the start of a gout attack. But they aren’t usually the first choice because of their very common side effects which are; vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Your Physician and You
Bear in mind that, before prescribing a certain medication for your gout, your doctor / physician will have taken into account your medical history, including the up-to-date information you will have shared with him or her as outlined above.
Because of this, the more common side effects of gout medications are usually outweighed by the benefits and they often disappear once your body gets used to the drugs. However, where they persist or where they become bothersome to you, you should contact your doctor.
And the above is not a complete list of possible side effects for these gout medications, so in the event that you experience any other unusual or unexplained symptoms you need to contact your physician at once.
But, if you experience things such as; breathing problems, slurred speech, weakness in one part of your body, chest pain, swelling to the lips, mouth, tongue, throat or face, excessive tiredness, yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, vision changes, vomiting blood, black tarry stools, fever, etc., then you should seek urgent medical help.