African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop gout, but they are less likely to be treated with urate-lowering therapy (ULT). Furthermore, African Americans typically present with more comorbidities associated with gout, such as hypertension, obesity, and renal impairment. We determined the efficacy and safety of ULT with febuxostat or allopurinol in African American subjects with gout and associated comorbidities and in comparison to Caucasian gout subjects.
This is a secondary analysis of the 6-month Phase 3 CONFIRMS trial. Eligible gouty subjects with baseline serum urate (sUA) ≥ 8.0 mg/dL were randomized 1:1:1 to receive febuxostat 40 mg, febuxostat 80 mg, or allopurinol (300 mg or 200 mg depending on renal function) daily. All subjects received gout flare prophylaxis. Primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects in each treatment group with sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at the final visit. Additional endpoints included the proportion of subjects with mild or with moderate renal impairment who achieved a target sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at final visit. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded throughout the study.
Of the 2,269 subjects enrolled, 10.0% were African American and 82.1% were Caucasian. African American subjects were mostly male (89.5%), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; 67.1%), with mean baseline sUA of 9.8 mg/dL and mean duration of gout of 10.4 years. The proportions of African American subjects with a baseline history of diabetes, renal impairment, or cardiovascular disease were significantly higher compared to Caucasians (p < 0.001). ULT with febuxostat 80 mg was superior to both febuxostat 40 mg (p < 0.001) and allopurinol (p = 0.004). Febuxostat 40 mg was comparable in efficacy to allopurinol. Significantly more African American subjects with mild or moderate renal impairment achieved sUA < 6.0 mg/dL in the febuxostat 80 group than in either the febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol group (p < 0.05). Efficacy rates in all treatment groups regardless of renal function were comparable between African American and Caucasian subjects, as were AE rates.
In African American subjects with significant comorbidities, febuxostat 80 mg is significantly more efficacious than either febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol 200/300 mg. Febuxostat was well tolerated in this African American population.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/15
The incidence of gout rises with increasing age. Management of elderly (≥65 years) gout patients can be challenging due to high rates of comorbidities, such as renal impairment and cardiovascular disease, and concomitant medication use. However, there is little data specifically addressing the efficacy and safety of available urate-lowering therapies (ULT) in the elderly. The objective of this post hoc analysis was to examine the efficacy and safety of ULT with febuxostat or allopurinol in a subset of elderly subjects enrolled in the CONFIRMS trial.
Hyperuricemic (serum urate [sUA] levels ≥ 8.0 mg/dL) gout subjects were enrolled in the 6-month, double-blind, randomized, comparative CONFIRMS trial and randomized, 1:1:1, to receive febuxostat, 40 mg or 80 mg, or allopurinol (200 mg or 300 mg based on renal function) once daily. Flare prophylaxis was provided throughout the study duration.
Study endpoints were the percent of elderly subjects with sUA <6.0 mg/dL at the final visit, overall and by renal function status, percent change in sUA from baseline to final visit, flare rates, and rates of adverse events (AEs).
Of 2,269 subjects enrolled, 374 were elderly. Febuxostat 80 mg was significantly more efficacious (82.0%) than febuxostat 40 mg (61.7%; p < 0.001) or allopurinol (47.3%; p < 0.001) for achieving the primary efficacy endpoint. Febuxostat 40 mg was also superior to allopurinol in this population (p = 0.029). In subjects with mild-to-moderate renal impairment, significantly greater ULT efficacy was observed with febuxostat 40 mg (61.6%; p = 0.028) and febuxostat 80 mg (82.5%; p < 0.001) compared to allopurinol 200/300 mg (46.9%). Compared to allopurinol 200/300 mg, the mean percent change in sUA from baseline was significantly greater for both febuxostat 80 mg (p < 0.001) and febuxostat 40 mg (p = 0.011) groups. Flare rates declined steadily in all treatment groups. Rates of AEs were low and comparable across treatments.
These data suggest that either dose of febuxostat is superior to commonly prescribed fixed doses of allopurinol (200/300 mg) in subjects ≥65 years of age with high rates of renal dysfunction. In addition, in this high-risk population, ULT with either drug was well tolerated.
There is a disproportionate burden of gout in African-Americans in the U.S. due to a higher disease prevalence and lower likelihood of receiving urate-lowering therapy (ULT), compared to Caucasians. There is an absence of strong data as to whether the response to ULT differs by race/ethnicity. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders recently published a secondary analyses of the CONFIRMS trial, a large randomized controlled, double-blind trial of 2,269 gout patients. The authors reported that the likelihood of achieving the primary study efficacy end-point of achieving serum urate < 6 mg/dl was similar between African-Americans and Caucasians, for all three treatment arms (Febuxostat 40 mg and 80 mg and allopurinol 300/200 mg). More importantly, rates were similar in subgroups of patients with mild or moderate renal insufficiency. Adverse event rates were similar, as were the rates of gout flares. These findings constitute a convincing evidence to pursue aggressive ULT in gout patients, regardless of race/ethnicity. This approach will likely help to narrow the documented racial disparities in gout care.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/13/15
Gout; Disparity; Race; treatment; Febuxostat; Allopurinol; randomized; African-American
Febuxostat is a novel, potent, non-purine selective xanthine oxidase inhibitor, which in clinical trials demonstrated superior ability to lower and maintain serum urate levels below 6 mg/dL compared with conventionally used doses of allopurinol. Febuxostat was well tolerated in long term treatment in patients with hyperuricemia including those experiencing hypersensitity/intolerance to allopurinol. Dose adjustment appears unnecessary in patients with mild to moderate renal or liver insufficiency or advanced age. The most common adverse reactions reported were abnormal liver function tests, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms, which were usually mild and transient. However, whether hepatotoxicity becomes a limitation in the use of febuxostat needs to be determined in further studies. An increased frequency of gout flares occurs for a prolonged period after treatment initiation, as with any aggressive lowering of serum urate, and prolonged prophylaxis with colchicine or NSAIDs is usually required. Febuxostat has been granted marketing authorization by the European Commission in early 2008 for the treatment of chronic hyperuricemia and gout. Febuxostat is the first major treatment alternative for gout in more than 40 years and is a promising alternative to allopurinol, although continued long-term surveillance on safety and efficacy is required.
febuxostat; TEI-6720; TMX-67; gout; hyperuricemia; xanthine oxidase inhibitor
The past decade has witnessed an exponential increase of novel therapeutic modalities for a variety of rheumatic disorders, including gout. During the past few years two novel therapeutic agents have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout, one of them being febuxostat, a nonpurine selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase. Review of its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, efficacy and safety profile, and use in gout patients with comorbid conditions reveals that age and gender have no clinically significant effect and dose adjustments based on age or gender are not required. In addition, febuxostat can be used in patients with mild-to-moderate renal or hepatic involvement. Its overall efficacy and safety profile is comparable and, in certain subsets such as gout patients with mild and moderate renal insufficiency, is superior to allopurinol.
hyperuricemia; febuxostat; gout; safety profile; efficacy profile
Gout is a common and disabling cause of arthritis in middle-aged and elderly populations, with its main predisposing factor being hyperuricemia (serum urate > 6.8 mg/dL). Options for treatment of chronic gout until 2008 were allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, and the group of drugs known as uricosurics that stimulate the renal excretion of uric acid. A proportion of patients, including some with chronic kidney disease and solid organ transplantations, could not be treated with the those therapies because of intolerance, drug interactions, or adverse events. Febuxostat is a nonpurine xanthine oxidase inhibitor, recently approved in Europe and the United States for the treatment of chronic gout.
To review the clinical evidence (phase II and III studies) of the effectiveness and safety of febuxostat for treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.
Febuxostat, at doses ranging from 40 to 240 mg/day, is efficacious in reducing serum urate in patients with hyperuricemia and gout, comparing favorably with fixed doses of allopurinol in that respect. Early safety signals with respect to liver test abnormalities and cardiovascular outcomes have not been confirmed in recent large prospective trials but need to be further monitored.
Given its low cost and extensive clinical experience, allopurinol will likely remain the first-line drug for management of hyperuricemia and gout. Febuxostat may provide an important option in patients unable to use allopurinol, those with very high serum urate levels, or in the presence of refractory tophi.
febuxostat; gout; hyperuricemia; evidence
In a previous issue of the journal, Becker and colleagues present efficacy and safety data from a large study comparing febuxostat to allopurinol. The study showed non-inferiority of febuxostat 40 mg/day in lowering serum urate compared to allopurinol 200 to 300 mg/day. More importantly, the study showed a similar frequency of important cardiovascular adverse events (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction and nonfatal stroke) for febuxostat 40 mg/day (0%), febuxostat 80 mg/day (0.4%) and allopurinol groups (0.4%). Other cardiac adverse event rates (unstable angina, coronary revascularization, cerebral revascularization, transient ischemic attack, venous and peripheral arterial vascular thrombotic event, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmia) were also similar for febuxostat 40 mg/day (1.3%), febuxostat 80 mg/day (1.2%) and allopurinol groups (0.9%). A meta-analysis of safety data from published studies is presented.
The Western world appears to be in the midst of the third great gout epidemic of all time. In this century, gout is increasing in prevalence despite an increased understanding of its risk factors and pathophysiology, and the availability of reasonably effective treatment. The main cultural factors responsible for this appear to be diet, obesity, ethanol use and medications. Excess fructose consumption is a newly recognized modifiable risk factor. The debate has been renewed concerning hyperuricemia as an independent risk factor for renal insufficiency and cardiovascular disease. Prevention is still rooted in lifestyle choices. Existing treatments have proven to be unsatisfactory in many patients with comorbidities. New treatments are available today and on the horizon for tomorrow, which offer a better quality of life for gout sufferers. These include febuxostat, a nonpurine inhibitor of xanthine oxidase with a potentially better combination of efficacy and safety than allopurinol, and investigational inhibitors of URAT-1, an anion exchanger in the proximal tubule that is critical for uric acid homeostasis. New abortive treatments include interleukin-1 antagonists that can cut short the acute attack in 1 to 2 days in persons who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine or corticosteroids. Lastly, newer formulations of uricase have the ability to dissolve destructive tophi over weeks or months in patients who cannot use currently available hypouricemic agents. Diagnostically, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging offer advanced ways to diagnose gout noninvasively, and just as importantly, a way to follow the progress of tophus dissolution. The close association of hyperuricemia with metabolic syndrome, hypertension and renal insufficiency ensures that nephrologists will see increasing numbers of gout-afflicted patients.
hyperuricemia; metabolic syndrome; tophi; colchicine; febuxostat; allopurinol
Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in an elderly population, and can be diagnosed with absolute certainty by polarization microscopy. However, diagnosis may be challenging because atypical presentations are more common in the elderly. Management of hyperuricemia in the elderly with gout requires special consideration because of co-medication, contra-indications, and risk of adverse reactions. Urate-lowering agents include allopurinol and uricosuric agents. These also must be used sensibly in the elderly, especially when renal function impairment is present. However, if used at the lowest dose that maintains the serum urate level below 5.0 to 6.0 mg/dL (0.30 to 0.36 mmol/L), the excess urate in the body will eventually be eliminated, acute flares will no longer occur, and tophi will resolve. Febuxostat, a new xanthine oxidase inhibitor, is welcomed, as few alternatives for allopurinol are available. Its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are not significantly altered in patients with moderate renal function or hepatic impairment. Its antihyperuricemic efficacy at 80 to 120 mg/day is better than “standard dosage” allopurinol (300 mg/day). Long-term safety data and efficacy data on tophus diminishment and reduction of gout flares have recently become available. Febuxostat may provide an important option in patients unable to use allopurinol, or refractory to allopurinol.
aging; febuxostat; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; xanthine oxidase
Gout is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated uric acid levels in the body, associated with painful arthritis, tophi and nephropathy. The most frequently used pharmacologic urate lowering strategies involve reducing urate production with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor and enhancing urinary excretion of uric acid with a uricosuric agent. Urate lowering agents are limited in number, availability and effectiveness. The emergence of a new medication, febuxostat, to lower serum urate levels is welcome as no new drug have been approved since the introduction of allopurinol, in 1964, and the drugs that are available have limitations owing to inefficacy or toxicity. Febuxostat is a novel, nonpurine selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase, is a potential alternative to allopurinol for patients with hyperuricemia and gout.
Gout; hyperuricemia; xanthine oxidase inhibitor
Gout recently passed rheumatoid arthritis to become the most common inflammatory arthritis in the United States (US). However, epidemiologic studies indicate that the quality of gout management is suboptimal owing to both patient and physician issues. Only three options for urate-lowering therapy are currently available in the US: allopurinol, probenecid, and recently, febuxostat. Probenecid is generally safe except for the occurrence of urolithiasis, but is only effective for the subset of patients with better kidney function. Allopurinol use is limited due to its side effects, potential toxicity of uncertain magnitude in patients with renal disease, and failure to achieve targeted serum urate levels. In part this failure may be due to the necessity for it to be titrated for optimal therapeutic effect. Febuxostat is a new medication that may offer several advantages and can be given as an alternative to allopurinol. We review the basic biology and clinical performance of febuxostat, and consider the potential utility of this agent in comparison to the older, better-established gout therapeutics.
allopurinol; gout suppressants; nephrolithiasis; uric acid; urolithiasis
The prevalence of gout is increasing with increased life expectancy. Approximately half of the patients with gout have some degree of renal impairment. If both conditions persistently coexist, and in severe tophaceous gout, in particular, treatment has been difficult. We here report on the case of an 87-year-old woman, who had been suffering from recurrent gouty arthritis over 4 years. Monthly polyarthritis attacks were accompanied by subcutaneous tophi. Serum uric acid levels were constantly above 600 μmol/L (10 mg/dL). Allopurinol was no option because of intolerance, while benzbromarone was ineffective because of renal impairment. Therefore, the novel xanthin oxidase inhibitor febuxostat was started, achieving rapid control of serum urate levels (<360 μmol/L). After initial worsening of inflammation in the first weeks, gouty attacks stopped and all tophi resolved within the following 10 months. Renal function remained stable.
Patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) are often at risk for complications, including subsequent MI and death. Use of prognostic markers may aid in preventing these poor outcomes. Hyperuricemia is associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or mortality; however, it is unknown if serum urate (sUA) levels predict outcomes in patients with previous MI. The purpose of this study was to assess hyperuricemia as a biomarker of CHD outcomes in such patients.
These were post hoc analyses of datasets from the Aspirin Myocardial Infarction Study, a 1:1 randomized, double-blind clinical trial, conducted from 1975 to 1979, that examined mortality rates following daily aspirin administration over three years in individuals with documented MI. The primary outcome measures were all-cause death, CHD mortality, coronary incidence, and stroke by quartile of baseline sUA. A sub-analysis of all outcome measures in the presence or absence of gouty arthritis was also performed.
Of 4,524 enrolled participants, data on 4,352 were analyzed here. All outcomes were greatest for patients in the fourth sUA quartile. In multivariate regression models, the hazard ratios (HR) for patients in the highest quartile were 1.88 for all-cause mortality (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.45 to 2.46), 1.99 for CHD mortality (95% CI, 1.49 to 2.66), and 1.36 for coronary incidence (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.70). Participants with untreated gout had an adjusted hazard ratio ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 (all P < 0.01) for these outcomes. Participants with gout who were receiving treatment did not exhibit this additional risk.
sUA and untreated gout may be independent prognostic markers for poor all-cause and CHD mortality in patients with recent acute MI.
Although dietary, genetic, or disease-related excesses in urate production may contribute to hyperuricemia, impaired renal excretion of uric acid is the dominant cause of hyperuricemia in the majority of patients with gout. The aims of this review are to highlight exciting and clinically pertinent advances in our understanding of how uric acid is reabsorbed by the kidney under the regulation of urate transporter (URAT)1 and other recently identified urate transporters; to discuss urate-lowering agents in clinical development; and to summarize the limitations of currently available antihyperuricemic drugs. The use of uricosuric drugs to treat hyperuricemia in patients with gout is limited by prior urolothiasis or renal dysfunction. For this reason, our discussion focuses on the development of the novel xanthine oxidase inhibitor febuxostat and modified recombinant uricase preparations.
In the past few decades, gout has increased not only in prevalence, but also in clinical complexity, the latter accentuated in part by a dearth of novel advances in treatments for hyperuricemia and gouty arthritis. Fortunately, recent research reviewed here, much of it founded on elegant translational studies of the past decade, highlights how gout can be better managed with cost-effective, well-established therapies. In addition, the advent of both new urate-lowering and anti-inflammatory drugs, also reviewed here, promises for improved management of refractory gout, including in subjects with co-morbidities such as chronic kidney disease. Effectively delivering improved management of hyperuricemia and gout will require a frame shift in practice patterns, including increased recognition of the implications of refractory disease and frequent noncompliance of patients with gout, and understanding the evidence basis for therapeutic targets in serum urate-lowering and gouty inflammation.
To evaluate the long-term safety (up to 3 years) of treatment with pegloticase in patients with refractory chronic gout.
This open-label extension (OLE) study was conducted at 46 sites in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Patients completing either of two replicate randomised placebo-controlled 6-month trials received pegloticase 8 mg every 2 weeks (biweekly) or every 4 weeks (monthly). Safety was evaluated as the primary outcome, with special interest in gout flares and infusion-related reactions (IRs). Secondary outcomes included urate-lowering and clinical efficacy.
Patients (n=149) received a mean±SD of 28±18 pegloticase infusions and were followed for a mean of 25±11 months. Gout flares and IRs were the most frequently reported adverse events; these were least common in patients with a sustained urate-lowering response to treatment and those receiving biweekly treatment. In 10 of the 11 patients with a serious IR, the event occurred when uric acid exceeded 6 mg/dl. Plasma and serum uric acid levels remained <6 mg/dl in most randomised controlled trial (RCT)-defined pegloticase responders throughout the OLE study and were accompanied by sustained and progressive improvements in tophus resolution and flare incidence.
The safety profile of long-term pegloticase treatment was consistent with that observed during 6 months of RCT treatment; no new safety signals were identified. Improvements in clinical status, in the form of flare and tophus reduction initiated during RCT pegloticase treatment in patients maintaining goal range urate-lowering responses were sustained or advanced during up to 2.5 years of additional treatment.
Gout; Treatment; Rheumatoid Arthritis
To assess concordance of the management of chronic gout in UK primary care with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) gout recommendations.
A postal questionnaire was sent to all adults aged >30 years registered with two general practices. Patients with possible gout attended for clinical assessment, at which the diagnosis was verified clinically. Aspects of chronic gout management, including provision of lifestyle modification advice, use of urate‐lowering therapies (ULT) including dose titration to serum urate (SUA) level, prophylaxis against acute attacks, and diuretic cessation were assessed in accordance with the EULAR recommendations.
Of 4249 (32%) completed questionnaires returned, 488 reported gout or acute attacks and were invited for clinical assessment. Of 359 attendees, 164 clinically confirmed cases of gout were identified. Advice regarding alcohol consumption was recalled by 59 (41%), weight loss by 36 (25%) and diet by 42 (29%). Allopurinol was the only ULT used and was taken by 44 (30%); 31 (70%) were taking 300 mg daily. Mean SUA was lower in allopurinol users than non‐users (318 vs 434 μmol/l) and was less often >360 μmol/l in allopurinol users (23% vs 75%). Eight patients had recently commenced allopurinol; two of these also were taking prophylactic colchicine or non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs. Of 25 patients with diuretic‐induced gout, 16 (64%) were still taking a diuretic.
Treatment of chronic gout is often suboptimal and poorly concordant with EULAR recommendations. Lifestyle advice is infrequently offered, and allopurinol is restricted to a minority. Persistent hyperuricaemia was often seen in allopurinol non‐users, but was also in allopurinol users, suggesting that doses >300 mg are often necessary.
gout; primary health care; lifestyle risk reduction; allopurinol; EULAR recommendations
OBJECTIVES—To study the efficacy of allopurinol and benzbromarone to reduce serum urate concentrations in patients with primary chronic gout.
METHODS—Prospective, parallel, open study of 86 consecutive male patients with primary chronic gout. Forty nine patients (26 normal excretors and 23 under excretors) were given allopurinol 300 mg/day and 37 under excretors benzbromarone 100 mg/day. After achieving steady plasma urate concentrations with such doses, treatment was then adjusted to obtain optimal plasmatic urate concentrations (under 6 mg/dl).
RESULTS—Patients receiving allopurinol 300 mg/day showed a mean reduction of plasmatic urate of 2.75 mg/dl (from 8.60 to 5.85 mg/dl) and 3.34 mg/dl (from 9.10 to 5.76 mg/dl) in normal excretors and under excretors respectively. Patients receiving benzbromarone 100 mg/day achieved a reduction of plasmatic urate of 5.04 mg/dl (from 8.58 to 3.54 mg/dl). Fifty three per cent of patients receiving allopurinol and 100% receiving benzbromarone achieved optimal plasma urate concentrations at such doses. The patients with poor results with allopurinol 300 mg/day achieved a proper plasma urate concentration with allopurinol 450 to 600 mg/day, the mean final dose being 372 mg/day. Renal fuction improved and no case of renal lithiasis was observed among benzbromarone treated patients, whose mean final dose was 76 mg/day.
CONCLUSION—Benzbromarone is very effective to control plasma urate concentrations at doses ranging from 50 to 100 mg/day. Uricosuric treatment is a suitable approach to the treatment of patients with gout who show underexcretion of urate.
Keywords: gout; gout suppressants; allopurinol; benzbromarone
Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the elderly. In the last two decades, both hyperuricemia and gout have increased markedly and similar trends in the epidemiology of the metabolic syndrome have been observed. Recent studies provide new insights into the transporters that handle uric acid in the kidney as well as possible links between these transporters, hyperuricemia, and hypertension. The treatment of established hyperuricemia has also seen new developments. Febuxostat and PEG-uricase are two novel treatments that have been evaluated and shown to be highly effective in the management of hyperuricemia, thus enlarging the therapeutic options available to lower uric acid levels. Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals are potent inducers of inflammation. Within the joint, they trigger a local inflammatory reaction, neutrophil recruitment, and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as other inflammatory mediators. Experimentally, the uptake of MSU crystals by monocytes involves interactions with components of the innate immune system, namely Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2, TLR-4, and CD14. Intracellularly, MSU crystals activate multiple processes that lead to the formation of the NALP-3 (NACHT, LRR, and pyrin domain-containing-3) inflammasome complex that in turn processes pro-interleukin (IL)-1 to yield mature IL-1β, which is then secreted. The inflammatory effects of MSU are IL-1-dependent and can be blocked by IL-1 inhibitors. These advances in the understanding of hyperuricemia and gout provide new therapeutic targets for the future.
Fifty-nine patients with primary gout were treated with either a combination of colchicine and allopurinol or colchicine alone. Assessments of renal function over 2 years revealed a statistically significant fall of glomerular filtration rate an urine concentrating ability in those receiving only colchicine. The renal function of patients given allopurinol did not change. Treatment with allopurinol resulted ina significant reduction of ammonium excretion, a phenomenon which could not be readily explained. Urate clearance also declined during allopurinol treatment, and the impaired urate clearance associated with gout became more evident. The most important observation was that allopurinol retarded an apparent decline of renal function. Presumably this was achieved through its hypouricaemic effect and implies that the hyperuricaemia of gouty patients is deleterious to the kidneys.
To identify gaps in therapy with urate-lowering drugs for the treatment of gout as well as factors associated with resuming therapy.
We identified persons from two integrated delivery systems 18 years or older with a diagnosis of gout who initiated use of a urate-lowering drug from January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2006 and who had a gap in therapy. A gap was defined as a period of over 60 days after the completion of one prescription in which no refill for a urate-lowering drug was obtained. Survival curves were used to assess return to therapy of urate-lowering drugs. Cox proportional hazards analysis estimated the association between covariates and return to therapy.
There were 4,166 new users of urate-lowering drugs (97% received allopurinol) of whom 2,929 (70%) had a gap in therapy. Among those with a gap, in 75% it occurred in the first year of therapy. Fifty percent of patients with a gap returned to therapy within 8 months, and by 4 years it was 75%. Age 45 to 74 (<45 referent) and greater duration of urate-lowering drug use prior to the gap was associated with resuming treatment within one year. In contrast, receipt of NSAIDs or glucocorticoids in the year prior to the gap was associated with a reduced likelihood of resuming therapy.
The majority of gout patients with gaps in urate-lowering drug use returned to treatment. More investigation is needed to better understand why patients may go for months without refilling prescriptions given the clinical consequences of nonadherence.
persistence; adherence; compliance; gout; urate lowering drugs
Allopurinol (4-hydroxypyrazolo (3,4-d)-pyrimidine) is a potent xanthine oxidase inhibitor which inhibits the oxidation of naturally occurring oxypurines, thus decreasing uric acid formation. The clinical and metabolic effects of this agent were studied in 80 subjects with primary and secondary gout and other disorders of uric acid metabolism. Allopurinol has been universally successful in lowering the serum uric acid concentration and uric acid excretion to normal levels, while not significantly affecting the clearance of urate or other aspects of renal function. Oxypurine excretion increased concomitantly with the fall in urine uric acid. The agent is particularly valuable in the management of problems of gout with azotemia, acute uric acid nephropathy and uric acid urolithiasis. The minor side effects, clinical indications and theoretical complications are discussed.
A study of renal function of 51 patients with gout and an equal number of normouricaemic controls revealed significant differences. A relative impairment of the glomerular filtration rate and urine concentrating ability in the gouty subjects could not be wholly explained on the basis of aging or hypertension. Renal dysfunction was generally mild and was not associated with specific clinical characteristics higher levels of uric acid excretion, or hypertriglyceridaemia. Gout patients excreted urine with a significantly lower pH. This was associated with a relatively high excretion of titratable acid and a deficit of ammonium excretion, which was accentuated by ingestion of an acid load. Urate clearance was significantly reduced in gout, even when expressed as a fraction of the glomerular filtration rate.
Hyperuricemia is the greatest risk factor for gout and is caused by an overproduction and/or inefficient renal clearance of urate. The fractional renal clearance of urate (FCU, renal clearance of urate/renal clearance of creatinine) has been proposed as a tool to identify subjects who manifest inefficient clearance of urate. The aim of the present studies was to validate the measurement of FCU by using spot-urine samples as a reliable indicator of the efficiency of the kidney to remove urate and to explore its distribution in healthy subjects and gouty patients.
Timed (spot, 2-hour, 4-hour, 6-hour, 12-hour, and 24-hour) urine collections were used to derive FCU in 12 healthy subjects. FCUs from spot-urine samples were then determined in 13 healthy subjects twice a day, repeated on 3 nonconsecutive days. The effect of allopurinol, probenecid, and the combination on FCU was explored in 11 healthy subjects. FCU was determined in 36 patients with gout being treated with allopurinol. The distribution of FCU was examined in 118 healthy subjects and compared with that from the 36 patients with gout.
No substantive or statistically significant differences were observed between the FCUs derived from spot and 24-hour urine collections. Coefficients of variation (CVs) were both 28%. No significant variation in the spot FCU was obtained either within or between days, with mean intrasubject CV of 16.4%. FCU increased with probenecid (P < 0.05), whereas allopurinol did not change the FCU in healthy or gouty subjects. FCUs of patients with gout were lower than the FCUs of healthy subjects (4.8% versus 6.9%; P < 0.0001).
The present studies indicate that the spot-FCU is a convenient, valid, and reliable indicator of the efficiency of the kidney in removing urate from the blood and thus from tissues. Spot-FCU determinations may provide useful correlates in studies investigating molecular mechanisms underpinning the observed range of efficiencies of the kidneys in clearing urate from the blood.
Purpose of review
Growing awareness of patients with refractory gout is prompting a reassessment of treatment strategy. This article reviews the current practice of targeting serum urate concentrations (sUA) in the mid-normal range (roughly 4–6 mg/dL), and considers the rationale for more aggressively lowering sUA in patients with poorly controlled chronic gout. Some hypothetical concerns with inducing hypouricemia are considered, and relevant clinical evidence is evaluated.
Recent studies confirm the benefits of modestly reducing sUA in many gout patients. However, tophi and tissue stores of monosodium urate crystals resolve slowly, particularly in patients with longstanding disease. Consistent with physicochemical principles, the rate of decrease in tophus size increases with a reduction in sUA concentration over a broad range. Reducing sUA to near or below 2 mg/dL can be achieved in some patients with current urate lowering drugs, but new drugs now under investigation may be more effective. As a free radical scavenger, uric acid has been postulated to protect from oxidative stress. However, inherited disorders associated with profound, lifelong hypouricemia indicate that maintaining sUA near or below 2 mg/dL would probably be safe.
Targeting low sUA could improve the elimination of tissue urate stores and achieve better control of disease in patients with refractory gout.
Gout; tophus; hypouricemia; pegloticase; febuxostat