10.1.4.2 Prophylaxis of gout
It is important to distinguish drugs used for the treatment of acute attacks of gout from those used in the long-term control of the disease. The latter exacerbate and prolong the acute manifestations if started during an attack.
|Allopurinol tablets 100mg, 300mg
|Febuxostat f/c tablets 80mg, 120mg
- Refer to NICE NG219 Gout: diagnosis and management and to the British Society for Rheumatology website for 2017 Guideline on the Management of Gout
- Patients with gout often have increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or renal impairment should be identified and the patient’s overall cardiovascular risk assessed.
- In uncomplicated gout, uric acid lowering drug therapy should be started if a second attack or further attacks occur within 1 year.
- Consider prophylaxis in patients who have had an attack of gout and who need high dose diuretics and monitor urate in patients with renal insufficiency.
- Neither allopurinol nor febuxostat should be started during an acute attack, as they will increase its intensity. Usually wait 4 to 6 weeks after an acute episode before starting treatment.
- Treatment should be continued indefinitely to prevent further attacks of gout by correcting the hyperuricaemia. These drugs must not be stopped during any acute gout flare ups.
- Colchicine 0.5 mg twice daily should be co-prescribed following initiation of treatment with allopurinol or uricosuric drugs, and continued for up to 6 months. In patients who cannot tolerate colchicine, a NSAID can be substituted provided that there are no contra-indications. The NSAID should be continued until symptom control is achieved and the patient is stabilised
- Analgesic doses of aspirin should be avoided. Low dose aspirin has the potential to precipitate gout; it should be reviewed and continued if indicated.
- Allopurinol can cause rashes, including the rare and potentially life-threatening Allopurinol Hypersensitivity Syndrome (AHS).
- The dose of allopurinol should be reduced in renal impairment:
GFR 20 to 50mL/min: 200 to 300mg daily
GFR 10 to 20mL/min: 100 to 200mg daily
GFR < 10mL/min: 100mg daily or 100mg on alternate days
- Febuxostat can be considered for patients who are intolerant of allopurinol or for whom allopurinol is contra-indicated. See NICE TA 164. Use with caution if eGFR <30mL/min
- Allopurinol and febuxostat have important interactions with azathioprine and mercaptopurine and should not be prescribed together.
Recommendations for diet, lifestyle modification and non-pharmacological modalities of therapy
- Refer to UK Gout Society Diet Factsheet for advice on healthy lifestyle choices in gout.
- Caution is required if prescribing febuxostat in patients with pre-existing major cardiovascular disease, particularly in those with evidence of high urate crystal and tophi burden or those initiating urate lowering therapy- see MHRA
- The MHRA drug safety update June 2012 detailed that febuxostat (Adenuric®) should be stopped if signs or symptoms of serious hypersensitivity (e.g. serious skin reactions or systemic hypersensitivity ) occur.