Efficacy and tolerability of febuxostat in hyperuricemic patients with or without gout: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Peng Ye, Shumin Yang, Wenlong Zhang, Qiong Lv, Qingfeng Cheng, Mei Mei, Ting Luo, Lulu Liu, Shumei Chen, Qifu Li
Clinical Therapeutics 2013, 35 (2): 180-9

BACKGROUND: Febuxostat has been approved for the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with/without gout.

OBJECTIVES: This meta-analysis and systematic review assessed the efficacy and tolerability of febuxostat in hyperuricemic patients with/without gout.

METHODS: Major electronic databases were searched for articles of all publication years (up to February 2012), as were the Web sites of the American College of Rheumatology, the European League Against Rheumatism, and the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration, and for unpublished studies. Only randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were included.

RESULTS: Ten trials were included. A significantly greater proportion of patients achieved the target serum urate level (sUA ≤6.0 mg/dL) at the final visit in the febuxostat group compared with the placebo (OR = 235.73; P < 0.01) and allopurinol groups (OR = 3.14; P < 0.01). In subgroup analysis, the proportion of patients who achieved target sUA at the final visit was significantly greater in the febuxostat-treated group (40 mg/d) compared with the allopurinol-treated group (100-300 mg/d) (50.9% vs 45.6%; OR = 1.25; 95% CI, 1.05-1.49; P = 0.01). As the dosage was increased (40, 80, 120 mg/d), the proportion of patients who achieved target sUA in the febuxostat-treated group increased gradually (50.9%, 71.4%, 82%, respectively). There was no significant difference in the occurrence of adverse events (AEs) between the febuxostat- and allopurinol-treated groups.

CONCLUSION: Febuxostat was effective in reducing serum urate in hyperuricemic patients with/without gout, and febuxostat (40-120 mg/d) was more efficacious compared with allopurinol (100-300 mg/d). The doses of allopurinol to which febuxostat has been compared, although commonly prescribed, are low in the range of approved doses of allopurinol. The tolerability of febuxostat for the treatment of hyperuricemia with/without gout is similar to that of allopurinol.

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