Febuxostat in gout: serum urate response in uric acid overproducers and underexcretors

David S Goldfarb, Patricia A MacDonald, Barbara Hunt, Lhanoo Gunawardhana
Journal of Rheumatology 2011, 38 (7): 1385-9

OBJECTIVE: Hyperuricemia of gout can arise due to either overproduction or underexcretion of uric acid. Not all available urate-lowering therapies are equally effective and safe for use in patients with renal disease. The objective of this post-hoc analysis was to determine the effectiveness of the xanthine oxidase inhibitor febuxostat in reducing serum urate (sUA) levels in gouty patients who were either overproducers or underexcretors.

METHODS: Gouty subjects 18 to 85 years of age with sUA ≥ 8.0 mg/dl at baseline were enrolled in a Phase 2, 28-day, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and randomized to receive febuxostat 40 mg, 80 mg, or 120 mg daily, or placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects with sUA < 6.0 mg/dl at Day 28. Secondary efficacy endpoints included percentage reductions in sUA and urinary uric acid (uUA) from baseline to Day 28.

RESULTS: Of the 153 subjects, 118 (77%) were underexcretors (uUA ≤ 800 mg/24 h) and 32 (21%) were overproducers (uUA > 800 mg/24 h); baseline uUA data were missing for 3 subjects. Treatment with febuxostat led to the majority of subjects achieving sUA < 6.0 mg/dl at Day 28. Treatment with any dose of febuxostat led to significantly greater percentage reductions in uUA than that observed in the placebo group, for both underexcretors and overproducers.

CONCLUSION: Febuxostat is a highly efficacious urate-lowering therapy in patients with gout regardless of overproduction or underexcretion status.

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