New Gout Drug Shows Promise

Susan Farley
Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

A large clinical trial indicated that the drug febuxostat resulted in lower levels of serum uric acid than allopurinol, the agent currently used to treat the painful form of arthritis in which uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints. According to researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center, both allopurinol and febuxostat will reduce blood levels of uric acid, thereby preventing these deposits from forming. The trial included 762 people with gout who were randomly assigned to take allopurinol or one of 2 doses of febuxostat—80 mg/day or 120 mg/day. The goal, which was a reduction of uric acid level to no more than 6 mg/dL of blood, was achieved in 53% of the 80-mg/day group, 62% of the 120- mg/day group, and 21% of the allopurinol group. According to study author Michael A. Becker, MD, the difference between the 2 drugs is that allopurinol is metabolized by the kidneys, and febuxostat is metabolized by the liver—which would make febuxostat preferable for people with weak kidney function. Longer-term studies are needed to determine the drug's efficacy after 1 year.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.

Latest Articles
This weekly video program highlights the latest in pharmacy news, product news, and more.
Propranolol is red, digoxin is blue. Your pharmacist’s heart may skip a beat if they get a valentine from you.
Health-system pharmacists can play a critical role in managing drug shortages to prevent medical errors and adverse events.
The White House is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus, which is creeping into the United States and ravaging some foreign countries.
Latest Issues