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1.  Impaired response or insufficient dosage? – examining the potential causes of ”inadequate response” to allopurinol in the treatment of gout 
Objectives
Gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is well established that urate lowering therapy that aims for a serum urate less than at least 0.36mmol/l (6mg/dL) is required for successful management of gout. Allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibitor is the most commonly used urate lowering therapy. However, many patients fail to achieve the target serum urate on allopurinol, these patients can be considered to have “inadequate response” to allopurinol. Herein we examine the potential mechanisms and implications of inadequate response to allopurinol.
Methods
The literature was reviewed for potential causes for failure to reach target serum urate in patients receiving allopurinol.
Results
The two most common causes of inadequate response to allopurinol are poor adherence and under-dosing of allopurinol. Adherent patients who fail to achieve target serum urate on standard doses of allopurinol form a group that could be considered to be “partially resistant” to allopurinol. There are four potential mechanisms for partial allopurinol resistance: decreased conversion of allopurinol to oxypurinol; increased renal excretion of oxypurinol; abnormality in XO structure and or function such that oxypurinol is rendered less effective, and/or drug interactions.
Conclusions
It is important to determine the reasons for failure to achieve treatment targets with allopurinol, particularly as newer agents become available. The knowledge of the mechanisms for inadequate response may help guide the clinician toward making a therapeutic choice that is more likely to result in achieving the serum urate target.
doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2014.05.007
PMCID: PMC4225179  PMID: 24925693
2.  Concordance of the management of chronic gout in a UK primary‐care population with the EULAR gout recommendations 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(10):1311-1315.
Objectives
To assess concordance of the management of chronic gout in UK primary care with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) gout recommendations.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1136/ard.2007.070755
PMCID: PMC1994300  PMID: 17504843
gout; primary health care; lifestyle risk reduction; allopurinol; EULAR recommendations
3.  The efficacy and safety of febuxostat for urate lowering in gout patients ≥65 years of age 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:11.
Background
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
Trial registration
clinicaltrials.gov NCT#00430248
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-12-11
PMCID: PMC3368715  PMID: 22436129
4.  Efficacy of allopurinol and benzbromarone for the control of hyperuricaemia. A pathogenic approach to the treatment of primary chronic gout 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1998;57(9):545-549.
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
PMCID: PMC1752740  PMID: 9849314
5.  African American patients with gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat vs allopurinol 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-15
PMCID: PMC3317813  PMID: 22316106
6.  Febuxostat in the management of hyperuricemia and chronic gout: a review 
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.
PMCID: PMC2643102  PMID: 19337428
febuxostat; TEI-6720; TMX-67; gout; hyperuricemia; xanthine oxidase inhibitor
7.  Renal impairment and gout. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1980;39(5):417-423.
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.
PMCID: PMC1000578  PMID: 7436572
8.  Serum Cystatin C is a Potential Endogenous Marker for the Estimation of Renal Function in Male Gout Patients with Renal Impairment 
Serum creatinine level is the most commonly used indices for assessment of glomerular filtration rate (GFR), even though these indices have been shown to have some limitations in clinical practice. We investigated the diagnostic efficacy of serum cystatin C compared to that of serum creatinine levels and identified the relating factors associated with changes in serum cystatin C levels in gout patients with renal impairment. A total of 68 gouty patients with renal impairment were enrolled in this study. Diagnostic efficacy of serum cystatin C levels was evaluated through non-parametric receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The risk factors for changes in serum cystatin C levels were confirmed using multivariate regression analysis. With 24-hr urine creatinine clearance (Ccr) as the reference for GFR, 1/cystatin C (r=0.702, P<0.001) showed a significantly higher correlation with Ccr than 1/creatinine (r=0.665, P<0.001). Multivariate correlation analysis demonstrated that the clinical parameters for increased serum cystatin C are a higher stage of chronic kidney disease, older age, use of allopurinol, and lower high density lipoprotein-cholesterol. The area under the curve (AUC) at ROC plots identified that of serum cystatin C was significantly greater than that of serum creatinine (AUC 0.804 of cystatin C and AUC 0.745 of creatinine). The study suggests that serum cystatin C is a reliable endogenous marker for the assessment of renal function or GFR in gout patients with renal impairment.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.1.42
PMCID: PMC2800003  PMID: 20052346
Cystatin C; Gout; Creatinine; Kidney Failure; Glomerular Filtration Rate
9.  The Treatment of Gout and Disorders of Uric Acid Metabolism with Allopurinol 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1966;95(22):1120-1127.
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.
PMCID: PMC1935821  PMID: 5923471
10.  EULAR evidence based recommendations for gout. Part II: Management. Report of a task force of the EULAR Standing Committee For International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutics (ESCISIT) 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;65(10):1312-1324.
Objective
To develop evidence based recommendations for the management of gout.
Methods
The multidisciplinary guideline development group comprised 19 rheumatologists and one evidence based medicine expert representing 13 European countries. Key propositions on management were generated using a Delphi consensus approach. Research evidence was searched systematically for each proposition. Where possible, effect size (ES), number needed to treat, relative risk, odds ratio, and incremental cost‐effectiveness ratio were calculated. The quality of evidence was categorised according to the level of evidence. The strength of recommendation (SOR) was assessed using the EULAR visual analogue and ordinal scales.
Results
12 key propositions were generated after three Delphi rounds. Propositions included both non‐pharmacological and pharmacological treatments and addressed symptomatic control of acute gout, urate lowering therapy (ULT), and prophylaxis of acute attacks. The importance of patient education, modification of adverse lifestyle (weight loss if obese; reduced alcohol consumption; low animal purine diet) and treatment of associated comorbidity and risk factors were emphasised. Recommended drugs for acute attacks were oral non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), oral colchicine (ES = 0.87 (95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 1.50)), or joint aspiration and injection of corticosteroid. ULT is indicated in patients with recurrent acute attacks, arthropathy, tophi, or radiographic changes of gout. Allopurinol was confirmed as effective long term ULT (ES = 1.39 (0.78 to 2.01)). If allopurinol toxicity occurs, options include other xanthine oxidase inhibitors, allopurinol desensitisation, or a uricosuric. The uricosuric benzbromarone is more effective than allopurinol (ES = 1.50 (0.76 to 2.24)) and can be used in patients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency but may be hepatotoxic. When gout is associated with the use of diuretics, the diuretic should be stopped if possible. For prophylaxis against acute attacks, either colchicine 0.5–1 mg daily or an NSAID (with gastroprotection if indicated) are recommended.
Conclusions
12 key recommendations for management of gout were developed, using a combination of research based evidence and expert consensus. The evidence was evaluated and the SOR provided for each proposition.
doi:10.1136/ard.2006.055269
PMCID: PMC1798308  PMID: 16707532
EULAR; gout; guidelines; treatment
11.  A National Survey of Veterans Affairs Rheumatologists for Relevance of Quality of Care Indicators for Gout Management 
Arthritis care & research  2010;62(9):1306-1311.
Objective
To determine the relevance of current gout Quality indicators (QIs).
Methods
Members of the Veterans Affairs Rheumatology Consortium were invited to participate in an online survey and provide opinions (rank 0–10) regarding existing gout QIs. Opinions sought on each QI were 1) relevance to United States Veterans, 2) likelihood to improve gout care, and 3) ease of electronic capture. Participants were also asked to rank their top 3 gout QIs.
Results
Participating VA rheumatologists were mainly male, of mean age 51.3 years and experienced in the management of gout. All 10 gout QIs were considered relevant, with a score of 8.2 of higher. The initiation of urate lowering therapy, monitoring of urate levels after initiation of urate lowering therapy, and treatment of acute gout with anti-inflammatory agents scored the highest with regards to likely to improving gout care, with the first 2 QIs also felt to be most relevant. Adjustment of initial allopurinol dosing in patients with renal impairment and in those receiving concurrent azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine were perceived as the QIs most amenable to electronic capture. The top ranked QIs were initiation of urate-lowering therapy with frequent gout attacks, serum urate monitoring after initiation of urate lowering therapy and adjustment of initial allopurinol dose to renal function.
Conclusions
In a national survey of VA rheumatologists, most gout QIs were thought to be highly relevant. QIs related to initiation of urate lowering therapy, serum urate monitoring, and initial dosing of allopurinol were ranked the most important for veterans with gout.
doi:10.1002/acr.20192
PMCID: PMC2943024  PMID: 20235197
Quality Indicators; Gout; Veterans Affairs
12.  Diabetes and gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat and allopurinol 
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism  2013;15(11):1049-1055.
Aim Assess influences of demographics and co-morbidities of gout patients with or without diabetes on safety and efficacy of urate-lowering agents.
Methods Post-hoc analysis of 312 diabetic and 1957 non-diabetic gout patients [baseline serum urate levels (sUA) ≥8.0 mg/dl] enrolled in a 6-month randomized controlled trial comparing urate-lowering efficacy (ULE) and safety of daily xanthine oxidase inhibitors (XOIs) febuxostat (40 mg or 80 mg) and allopurinol (200 mg or 300 mg). We compared baseline demographic, gout and co-morbid characteristics, ULE, and safety of XOI treatment in diabetic and non-diabetic gout patients. ULE was measured by the proportion of diabetic and non-diabetic patients in each treatment group achieving final visit sUA < 6.0 mg/dl. Safety was monitored throughout the trial.
Results Diabetic gout patients were older, more frequently female, and had longer gout duration. Co-morbidities were more frequent among diabetic patients: cardiovascular disease; impaired renal function; hyperlipidemia; and obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2) (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). Febuxostat 80 mg ULE exceeded that of febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol (p < 0.050) at all levels of renal function, achieving sUA goal range in the majority of diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Diabetics and non-diabetics reported self-limiting diarrhoea and URIs as the most common adverse events.
Conclusions Despite higher co-morbidity rates in diabetic patients, febuxostat and allopurinol were safe in both groups at the doses tested. Febuxostat 80 mg achieved sUA <6.0 mg/dl more often than febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol at commonly prescribed doses.
doi:10.1111/dom.12135
PMCID: PMC3902994  PMID: 23683134
clinical trial; diabetes mellitus; drug utilisation
13.  Febuxostat: the evidence for its use in the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout 
Core evidence  2010;4:25-36.
Introduction:
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.
Aim:
To review the clinical evidence (phase II and III studies) of the effectiveness and safety of febuxostat for treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.
Evidence review:
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.
Clinical potential:
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.
PMCID: PMC2899777  PMID: 20694062
febuxostat; gout; hyperuricemia; evidence
14.  The urate-lowering efficacy and safety of febuxostat in the treatment of the hyperuricemia of gout: the CONFIRMS trial 
Introduction
The purpose of this study was to compare urate-lowering (UL) efficacy and safety of daily febuxostat and allopurinol in subjects with gout and serum urate (sUA) ≥ 8.0 mg/dL in a six-month trial.
Methods
Subjects (n = 2,269) were randomized to febuxostat 40 mg or 80 mg, or allopurinol 300 mg (200 mg in moderate renal impairment). Endpoints included the proportion of all subjects with sUA <6.0 mg/dL and the proportion of subjects with mild/moderate renal impairment and sUA <6.0 mg/dL. Safety assessments included blinded adjudication of each cardiovascular (CV) adverse event (AE) and death.
Results
Comorbidities included: renal impairment (65%); obesity (64%); hyperlipidemia (42%); and hypertension (53%). In febuxostat 40 mg, febuxostat 80 mg, and allopurinol groups, primary endpoint was achieved in 45%, 67%, and 42%, respectively. Febuxostat 40 mg UL was statistically non-inferior to allopurinol, but febuxostat 80 mg was superior to both (P < 0.001). Achievement of target sUA in subjects with renal impairment was also superior with febuxostat 80 mg (72%; P < 0.001) compared with febuxostat 40 mg (50%) or allopurinol (42%), but febuxostat 40 mg showed greater efficacy than allopurinol (P = 0.021). Rates of AEs did not differ across treatment groups. Adjudicated (APTC) CV event rates were 0.0% for febuxostat 40 mg and 0.4% for both febuxostat 80 mg and allopurinol. One death occurred in each febuxostat group and three in the allopurinol group.
Conclusions
Urate-lowering efficacy of febuxostat 80 mg exceeded that of febuxostat 40 mg and allopurinol (300/200 mg), which were comparable. In subjects with mild/moderate renal impairment, both febuxostat doses were more efficacious than allopurinol and equally safe. At the doses tested, safety of febuxostat and allopurinol was comparable.
Clinical Trial Registration
NCT00430248
doi:10.1186/ar2978
PMCID: PMC2888216  PMID: 20370912
15.  Gout 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1120.
Introduction
Gout affects about 5% of men and 1% of women, with up to 80% of people experiencing a recurrent attack within 3 years.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for acute gout? What are the effects of treatments to prevent gout in people with prior acute episodes? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 16 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: colchicine, corticosteroids, corticotropin (ACTH), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), sulfinpyrazone, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, advice to lose weight, advice to reduce alcohol intake, and advice to reduce dietary intake of purines.
Key Points
Gout is characterised by deposition of urate crystals, causing acute monoarthritis and crystal deposits (tophi) in the skin. Gout affects about 5% of men and 1% of women, with up to 80% of people experiencing a recurrent attack within 3 years.Diagnosis is usually clinical, supported by presence of hyperuricaemia.Risk factors are those associated with hyperuricaemia, including: older age; non-white ethnicity; obesity; consumption of alcohol, meat, and fish; and use of diuretics.Hyperuricaemia may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events; we don't know whether it is an independent risk factor.
We don't know whether NSAIDs reduce pain and tenderness in an acute attack of gout, although they are commonly used in clinical practice. They are associated with increased risks of gastrointestinal, and possible cardiovascular, adverse effects. Indometacin is widely used to treat acute gout despite the absence of RCT evidence of benefit. Etoricoxib is as effective as indometacin with reduced risks of gastrointestinal adverse effects.
Colchicine may be more effective than placebo at improving symptoms in acute gout. Its use is limited by the high incidence of adverse effects; although these may be reduced with low-dose colchicine regimens. Low-dose colchicine may be as effective at reducing pain in gout and may produce fewer adverse effects than high-dose colchicine.
We don't know whether intra-articular or parenteral corticosteroids, or corticotropin (ACTH), improve symptoms in acute gout. Oral corticosteroids seem as effective as NSAIDs and may have fewer short-term adverse events.
We don't know whether colchicine prevents attacks of gout in people with prior episodes, but it may reduce the risk of an attack in a person starting allopurinol treatment.
We don't know whether advice to lose weight or reduce alcohol or dietary purine intake prevents further attacks of gout.
We don't know whether sulfinpyrazone reduces the risk of recurrent attacks compared with placebo or other treatments.
We don't know whether xanthine oxidase inhibitors reduce the risk of recurrent attacks in the long term when compared with placebo or other treatments. Higher doses of febuxostat may increase the risks of gout attacks within the first 8 weeks of treatment compared with placebo, and compared with allopurinol.
PMCID: PMC3275296  PMID: 21575286
16.  Allopurinol, Benzbromarone, or a Combination in Treating Patients with Gout: Analysis of a Series of Outpatients 
Objective. To profile a sample of gouty patients treated with allopurinol, benzbromarone, or a combination of these two drugs and to describe the impact of this therapy in reducing uric acid levels. Methods. An observational, transversal study was performed. We evaluated 48 patients diagnosed with gout who were seen at the Outpatient Rheumatology Clinic of the Federal University of Paraná between January 2009 and November 2010. Clinical data, creatinine serum levels, and basal and posttreatment levels of serum urates, transaminases, and bilirubins were recorded. Uric acid levels were measured in a 24-hour urine sample. Patients were divided into three groups: patients given only allopurinol (A), only benzbromarone (B), and both in combined therapy (A + B). Results. The average age of these patients was 56.6 ± 11.4 years, varying from 35 to 81 years. The entire patient group experienced a significant drop in serum urate levels, from 8.5 ± 1.8 mg/dL (0.472 ± 0.1 mmol/L) to 6.7 ± 2.1 mg/dL (0.372 ± 0.116 mmol/L) (P < 0.001), regardless of the prescribed medication. The number of patients taking both drugs whose serum uric acid values fell within normal range (men <7 mg/dL (0.38 mmol/L) and women <6 mg/dL (0.33 mmol/L)) was 85.7% (6/7) while this value for the group taking benzbromarone alone was 75% (3/4) and for the group taking allopurinol alone this number was 51.8% (14/27). Conclusions. The therapeutic combination of benzbromarone and allopurinol significantly decreased serum urate levels in patients with gout when compared to individual use of each of these agents. This finding is especially important in treating patients who cannot control hyperuricemia with monotherapy. Benzbromarone alone or in combination with allopurinol has an important clinical role in controlling hyperuricemia in patients with gout.
doi:10.1155/2014/263720
PMCID: PMC3955622  PMID: 24719620
17.  Tophaceous Gout and Renal Insufficiency: A New Solution for an Old Therapeutic Dilemma 
Case Reports in Medicine  2011;2011:397646.
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.
doi:10.1155/2011/397646
PMCID: PMC3099210  PMID: 21629805
18.  Management of hyperuricemia in gout: focus on febuxostat 
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.
PMCID: PMC2817937  PMID: 20169038
aging; febuxostat; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; xanthine oxidase
19.  Trends in physician diagnosed gout and gout therapies in the US: results from the national ambulatory health care surveys 1993 to 2009 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R181.
Introduction
Gouty arthritis (gout) is primarily cared for in ambulatory care settings. Although the prevalence of gout in the US is thought to be increasing, there have been few data on this as well as temporal changes in gout medication use.
Methods
We analyzed annual visit and drug utilization data from national sample surveys of physician practices and hospital outpatient clinics in the US from 1993 to 2009. Gout diagnosis was recorded by individual physicians.
Result
The frequency of visits for gout increased three-fold from 1993 through 2009; most of the increases were observed from 2003 onwards. The increase was only partly explained by changes in age and gender composition of the surveys over time. A concomitant increase in prescriptions for allopurinol and colchicine and decrease in prescriptions for anti-inflammatories was observed. Aspirin use, a putative risk factor for gout and gout flares, increased substantially over this period. Probenecid use was negligible. Frequency of systemic steroid use has not changed over time.
Conclusions
The number of ambulatory visits for gout has increased almost three-fold in the first decade of the millennium coinciding with increases in physician and patient awareness. This increase was primarily due to visits among the elderly. Uricosuric use remained negligible whereas the uses of allopurinol and colchicine have increased rapidly. Use of traditional non-steroidals has declined, possibly due to safety concerns whereas glucocorticoid use remains unchanged.
doi:10.1186/ar4370
PMCID: PMC3979074  PMID: 24286510
20.  Gout  
Clinical Evidence  2008;2008:1120.
Introduction
Gout affects about 5% of men and 1% of women, with up to 80% of people experiencing a recurrent attack within 3 years.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for acute gout? What are the effects of treatments to prevent gout in people with prior acute episodes? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2008 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 21 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: colchicine, corticosteroids, corticotrophin (ACTH), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), sulfinpyrazone, xanthine oxidase inhibitors, advice to lose weight, advice to reduce alcohol intake, advice to reduce dietary intake of purines.
Key Points
Gout is characterised by deposition of urate crystals, causing acute monoarthritis and crystal deposits (tophi) in the skin. Gout affects about 5% of men and 1% of women, with up to 80% of people experiencing a recurrent attack within 3 years.Diagnosis is usually clinical, supported by signs of hyperuricaemia.Risk factors are those associated with increased serum urate concentrations, including: older age; non-white ethnicity; obesity; consumption of alcohol, meat, and fish; and use of diuretics.Hyperuricaemia may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events; we don't know whether it is an independent risk factor.
We don't know whether NSAIDs reduce pain and tenderness in an acute attack of gout, although they are commonly used in clinical practice. They are associated with increased risks of gastrointestinal, and possible cardiovascular, adverse effects. Indometacin is widely used to treat acute gout despite the absence of RCT evidence of benefit. Etoricoxib is as effective as indometacin with reduced risks of gastrointestinal adverse effects.
Although it has been widely used for many years, we don't know whether oral colchicine improves symptoms in acute gout. Its use is limited by the high incidence of adverse effects.
We don't know whether intra-articular, parenteral or oral corticosteroids, or corticotropin (ACTH), improve symptoms in acute gout.
We don't know whether colchicine prevents attacks of gout in people with prior episodes, but it may reduce the risk of an attack in a person starting allopurinol treatment. We don't know whether advice to lose weight or reduce alcohol or dietary purine intake prevents further attacks of gout.We don't know whether allopurinol or febuxostat, orsulfinpyrazone reduce the risk of recurrent attacks compared with placebo or other treatments.
PMCID: PMC2907998  PMID: 19445790
21.  Chronic kidney disease in gout in a managed care setting 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:36.
Background
To study the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its impact on allopurinol dosing and uric acid control among patients with gout.
Methods
This was a retrospective study using data from a large US health plan. Claims and laboratory data were analyzed for enrollees from the health plan database from January 2002 through December 2005. Patients with gout were identified from pharmacy and medical claims data based on the presence of codes for gout medication or gout diagnosis. Severity of CKD was determined using the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Allopurinol titration was defined as a change in average daily dose from first prescription to last prescription of ≥ 50 mg.
Results
A total of 3,929 patients were identified for inclusion in this study, 39% of whom had CKD (based on having an eGFR < 90 mL/min/1.73 m2). Subjects with CKD were older (p < 0.01) and more likely to be women (p < 0.01), had a greater number of comorbid conditions (p < 0.01), and were more likely to be prescribed allopurinol (p < 0.01) compared to those with no CKD. The average starting dose of allopurinol was lower among those with CKD, and it decreased with worsening kidney function. Among the 3,122 gout patients who used allopurinol, only 25.6% without CKD and 22.2% with CKD achieved a serum uric acid concentration of < 6.0 mg/dL (p = 0.0409). Also, only 15% of allopurinol users had an upward dose titration (by ≥50 mg), but the average increase in dose did not differ significantly between those with and without CKD.
Conclusions
About two out of every five patients with gout in this population had CKD. Allopurinol doses were not adjusted in the majority of CKD patients. Serum uric acid control in gout was poor among patients without CKD and even worse among those with CKD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-12-36
PMCID: PMC3174872  PMID: 21812963
22.  Relation between adverse events associated with allopurinol and renal function in patients with gout 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2001;60(10):981-983.
BACKGROUND—Because serious adverse reactions to allopurinol have been related to a reduce creatinine clearance rate and prolonged half life of oxypurinol, it has been recommended that the dose should be adjusted according to the rate of creatinine clearance. However, in some patients with gout the dose is not sufficient to reduce serum levels of uric acid (⩽390 µmol/l) and to halt disease progression.
OBJECTIVE—To determine the prevalence of adverse reactions attributable to allopurinol in patients with primary gout according to dose and creatinine clearance rate.
METHODS—Data on 120 patients with gout receiving allopurinol, in whom the starting dose was adjusted according to creatinine clearance rate and later increased in some patients to control the disease, were retrospectively reviewed. Two groups were compared: group A, 52 patients receiving creatinine clearance adjusted maintenance doses of allopurinol and group B, 68 patients receiving non-adjusted higher maintenance doses of allopurinol.
RESULTS—During follow up 57% required higher allopurinol doses than those recommended according to their creatinine clearance rate. Only five (4%) of 120 consecutive patients developed allopurinol related adverse reactions: four minor skin reactions and one allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS). Three of these (including the case of AHS) occurred in group A and two in group B (p=NS). The duration of allopurinol treatment was the same in both groups (group A: 2.3 (3.3) years; group B: 3.7 (4.8) years). No patient in group A, but 44% in group B had a creatinine clearance rate of <50 ml/min. None of the patients received concomitant diuretics, ampicillin, or azathioprine.
CONCLUSIONS—No increase was seen in the prevalence of adverse reactions to allopurinol in patients who received higher allopurinol maintenance doses than those recommended according to creatinine clearance rate.


doi:10.1136/ard.60.10.981
PMCID: PMC1753376  PMID: 11557658
23.  Clinical and health care use characteristics of patients newly prescribed allopurinol, febuxostat and colchicine for gout 
Arthritis care & research  2013;65(12):2008-2014.
Background
Gout is a common inflammatory arthritis with the increasing prevalence in the developed countries. It is well-known that many patients with gout have significant comorbidities and high health care utilization.
Methods
Using US insurance claims data (2009–2011), a population-based cohort study was conducted to describe clinical characteristics and health care utilization patterns in patients with gout newly prescribed allopurinol, febuxostat or colchicine.
Results
There were 25,051 allopurinol, 4,288 febuxostat and 6,238 colchicine initiators. Mean age was 53 years and 83%–87% were male. More than half of patients had hypertension and hyperlipidemia, 20% had diabetes and 10% cardiovascular disease. The mean uric acid level (mg/dl) was similar at baseline ranging from 8.1 to 8.5 across the groups. Compared to allopurinol or colchicine initiators, febuxostat initiators had more comorbidities and greater health care uses including outpatient, inpatient or emergency room visits, both at baseline and during the follow-up. Use of gout related drugs, such as opioids, steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, was most common in febuxostat and least common in colchicine initiators. The median daily dose at both start and end of treatment was 300mg for allopurinol, 40mg for febuxostat, and 1.2mg for colchicine. The dosage of allopurinol and febuxostat was rarely increased during the follow-up.
Conclusion
Patients who started allopurinol, febuxostat or colchicine for gout generally had hyperuricemia and multiple comorbidities. Febuxostat initiators had more comorbidities and greater use of health care resources and gout-related drugs than other groups. Overall, the dosages of allopurinol or febuxostat remained unchanged over time.
doi:10.1002/acr.22067
PMCID: PMC4096791  PMID: 23861232
gout; allopurinol; febuxostat; colchicine
24.  Effect of Allopurinol versus Urate Oxidase on Methotrexate Pharmacokinetics in Children with Newly Diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
Cancer  2010;116(1):227-232.
Background
Allopurinol and urate oxidase are both effective in preventing or treating hyperuricemia during remission induction therapy for lymphoid malignancies, but their effect on concomitant anticancer drug therapy has not been compared.
Methods
We compared plasma methotrexate pharmacokinetics in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia who received concomitant allopurinol (n=20) versus non-recombinant or recombinant urate oxidase (n=96) during high-dose methotrexate administration before conventional remission induction therapy.
Results
The minimum plasma concentration of uric acid was significantly (p<0.0001) lower after treatment with urate oxidase as compared to allopurinol treatment. Methotrexate clearance was significantly higher (median, 117.1 vs. 91.1ml/min/m2, p=0.019) in patients receiving urate oxidase. A higher proportion of patients in the allopurinol group had elevated methotrexate plasma concentrations (36% vs. 7%, p=0.003), and experienced mucositis (45% vs. 16%, p=0.003) after methotrexate treatment than those in the rasburicase group.
Conclusions
The lower rate of methotrexate clearance in patients receiving allopurinol likely reflects a less potent hypouricemic effect of allopurinol, leading to precipitation of uric acid in renal tubules. Hence, during remission induction therapy for lymphoid malignancies, renally-excreted drugs should be monitored closely, especially in patients receiving allopurinol.
doi:10.1002/cncr.24681
PMCID: PMC2846832  PMID: 19834958
methotrexate; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; hyperuricemia; allopurinol; urate oxidase
25.  Allopurinol Therapy in Gout Patients Does Not Associate with Beneficial Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Population-Based Matched-Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99102.
Introduction
Previous studies have shown an association between gout and/or hyperuricemia and a subsequent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes. Allopurinol reduces vascular oxidative stress, ameliorates inflammatory state, improves endothelial function, and prevents atherosclerosis progression. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that a positive association between allopurinol therapy in gout patients and future cardiovascular outcomes is present using a population-based matched-cohort study design.
Methods
Patients aged ≥40 years with newly diagnosed gout having no pre-existing severe form of CVD were separated into allopurinol (n = 2483) and non-allopurinol (n = 2483) groups after matching for age, gender, index date, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and atrial fibrillation. The two groups were also balanced in terms of uric acid nephrolithiasis, acute kidney injury, hepatitis, and Charlson comorbidity index.
Results
With a median follow-up time of 5.25 years, the allopurinol group had a modest increase in cardiovascular risk [relative risk, 1.20; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.08–1.34]. A Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for chronic kidney disease, uremia, and gastric ulcer gave a hazard ratio (HR) for cardiovascular outcomes of 1.25 (95% CI, 1.10–1.41) in gout patients receiving allopurinol compared with the non-allopurinol group. In further analysis of patients receiving urate-lowering therapy, the uricosuric agent group (n = 1713) had an adjusted HR of 0.83 (0.73–0.95) for cardiovascular events compared with the allopurinol group.
Conclusions
The current population-based matched-cohort study did not support the association between allopurinol therapy in gout patients with normal risk for cardiovascular sequels and beneficial future cardiovascular outcomes. Several important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, blood pressure were not obtainable in the current retrospective cohort study, thus could potentially bias the effect estimate.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099102
PMCID: PMC4045898  PMID: 24897240

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