Gout medications over the counter
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
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Gout medications are divided into two types:
1. Those that control symptoms
Drugs in this category include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They reduce the inflammation of an acute attack but do not inhibit the disease process. For this reason, they cannot prevent the damage associated with gout. These drugs typically take a few days to a few weeks to control pain effectively.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) reduce pain and swelling in the joints while decreasing stiffness. When a low dose is taken, NSAIDs control pain, but higher doses are required to reduce inflammation.
The problem with NSAIDs is their side effects. Taking more than one NSAID at a time increases the likelihood of heartburn and severe side effects such as ulcers and bleeding. NSAIDs block the blood’s ability to clot properly and interact with blood-thinning medications such as coumadin. Kidney damage is also an issue with NSAIDS.
Most NSAIDs require a prescription, including naproxen (Naprosyn®), nabumetone (Relafen®), indomethacin (Indocid®), diclofenac (Voltaren®), piroxicam (Feldene®) and sulindac (Clinoril®). Other NSAIDs are available over-the-counter; these include ASA (Aspirin®, Anacin® and others), and ibuprofen (Motrin IB®, Advil® ), Orudis KT, and Aleve (naproxen).
2. Those that help the body excrete uric acid
Drugs in the second group are available only by prescription.
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