Gout | Treatment


What should I do if I have a gout attack?

The sooner you get treatment, the sooner the pain will go away. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to help stop the joint swelling and pain. With treatment, your gout attack should go away in a few days. While having a gout attack, you should reduce the amount of animal protein you eat and avoid alcohol completely.

You should rest in bed during an attack of gout. Putting an ice pack on the joint may ease the pain. Keeping the weight of clothes or bedding off the joint can also help. Medicines that you can take without a prescription that reduce inflammation and pain may also help, such as ibuprofen (some brands: Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (one brand: Aleve). Your doctor can also prescribe medicine for you.

What can I do to avoid gout attacks?

Your doctor can prescribe medicines to prevent future gout attacks. These medicines can wash the uric acid from your joints, reduce swelling and decrease the amount of uric acid in your body. Because aspirin can interfere with the way these medicines work, you should ask your doctor before taking them both at the same time.

You should lose weight if you are overweight. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you should get treatment for these conditions and follow a low-salt, low-fat diet.

Avoid alcohol and foods that are high in purines. Drink lots of water and other fluids, which can help flush uric acid from your body.


Diagnosis and Management of Gout by JR Pittman, Pharm.D. and MH Bross, M.D. (American Family Physician April 01, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990401ap/1799.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 07/13
Created: 09/00