Prophylaxis for acute gout flares after initiation of urate-lowering therapy

Augustin Latourte, Thomas Bardin, Pascal Richette
Rheumatology 2014, 53 (11): 1920-6
This review summarizes evidence relating to prophylaxis for gout flares after the initiation of urate-lowering therapy (ULT). We searched MEDLINE via PubMed for articles published in English from 1963 to 2013 using MEsH terms covering all aspects of prophylaxis for flares. Dispersion of monosodium urate crystals during the initial phase of deposit dissolution with ULT exposes the patient to an increased rate of acute flares that could contribute to poor treatment adherence. Slow titration of ULT might decrease the risk of flares. According to the most recent international recommendation, the two first-line options for prophylaxis are low-dose colchicine (0.5 mg once or twice a day) or low-dose NSAIDs such as naproxen 250 mg orally twice a day. They can be given for up to 6 months. If these drugs are contraindicated, not tolerated or ineffective, low-dose corticosteroids (prednisone or prednisolone) might be used. Recently, reports for four trials described the efficacy of canakinumab and rilonacept, two IL-1 inhibitors, for preventing flares during the initiation of allopurinol therapy. Prophylaxis for flares induced by ULT is an important consideration in gout management. Low-dose colchicine and low-dose NSAIDs are the recommended first-line therapies. Although no IL-1 blockers are approved as prophylactic treatment, this class of drug could become an interesting option for patients with gout with intolerance or contraindication to colchicine, NSAIDs or corticosteroids.


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