Febuxostat for prevention of gout attacks

S Pohar, G Murphy
Issues in Emerging Health Technologies 2006, (87): 1-4
(1) Febuxostat is a selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase. Its use in the management of hyperuricemia and gout is being studied. (2) In a 52-week, phase III randomized clinical trial, febuxostat was superior to allopurinol for lowering uric acid levels. Its efficacy in preventing gout attacks was similar to that of allopurinol. Despite a similar rate of adverse effects, individuals on febuxostat were more likely to stop treatment than those on allopurinol. (3) The most commonly observed adverse effects with febuxostat include liver function test abnormalities, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dizziness. (4) Given that renal dysfunction is a risk factor for hyperuricemia and gout, the safety and efficacy of febuxostat in this population should be considered, but only limited data are available. (5) The diffusion of febuxostat may be limited by its price relative to that of allopurinol, regardless of whether febuxostat proves to have advantages in specific populations.

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