Can you take Prednisone for gout?

Prednisone for gout
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Gout is classified as an inflammatory condition of joints caused by elevated serum uric acid concentrations. 
  • Acute episode of gouty arthritis is typically managed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, or corticosteroids.
  • First-line gout treatment revolves around managing pain and inflammation. The best time to begin treatment is within 24 hours of the episode of the gout attack. Treatment is usually stopped once the attack is over and symptoms have subsided.
  • Long-term treatment goals include a reduction of uric acid levels to prevent future attacks. 
  • The best approach to managing gout includes a combination of diet/lifestyle changes and prescription drugs.

Overview

Gout is an inflammatory condition resulting from elevated serum uric acid concentrations. Prednisone for gout is commonly prescribed for an acute attack of gout. Being a corticosteroid, it helps reduce inflammation. Prednisone is available in tablet or liquid form and is used to treat several conditions, such as allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vasculitis, and multiple sclerosis symptoms. 

Gout flare-ups are excruciating and can last several days to a week or even longer. This article will help you decide whether Prednisone for gout flare is the best treatment choice, discuss the benefits of using steroids for gout, and provide detailed information regarding the correct dosage of Prednisone for gout.

How does Prednisone work on gout?

Prednisone for gout or methylprednisolone for gout quickly lowers inflammation, reducing pain, redness, and swelling. Sometimes, the immune system has an overactive response and attacks your healthy body’s tissues. In such cases, Prednisone helps to stop that attack. Additionally, low-dose Prednisone may slow joint damage. However, it may also cause unpleasant long-term side effects. Prednisone dose for gout will vary from individual to individual.

Connect with our doctor to determine the right dosage of Prednisone for gout!

How quickly does Prednisone work for gout?

Your prednisone pack for gout can take up to 2 hours to work. Delayed release tablets of Prednisone start working in 6 hours. Once you stop taking the medicine, the medicine gets eliminated quickly.

How much prednisone prednisone for a gout flare-up?

Prednisone gout dosage will depend on your condition and the stage of your disease. A high-dose Prednisone of 80 milligrams/day may be prescribed in case of a flare-up. Your healthcare provider may initiate a bridge therapy instead, putting you on a lower dose while waiting for another medication to work. A low-maintenance dose of 5-10 milligrams/day may be prescribed for a long duration to manage inflammation levels.

Corticosteroids can also be given via intraarticular injection for the treatment of acute gout flare-ups when other therapies cannot be used. Oral Prednisone prescribed to treat acute gout flares is started at 30 mg to 40 mg per day until symptom improvement, which usually occurs in 5 days. Prednisone for gout should then be tapered gradually over a period of 7 to 10 days. This can be increased to 21 days in patients with multiple episodes of flares. Diclofenac for gout may often be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.

What are the side effects of taking Prednisone for gout?

Oral steroids can cause systemic side effects. Taking a high dose over a prolonged period makes you more prone to prednisone side effects. Common side effects include: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Eye problems, including glaucoma or cataracts
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mood swings
  • Diabetes
  • Delayed Wound Healing 
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach upset
  • Puffy face
  • Water retention
  • Weight gain

What is the best medication for gout?

First-line treatment for gout is focused on reducing pain and managing inflammation. The treatment is initiated within 24 hours of the start of the gout attack and stopped once the symptoms have settled. It comprises anti-inflammatories known as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Other treatment options include a prescription dose of an anti-inflammatory medication such as indomethacin and Prednisone or the drug colchicine. The drug aids in suppressing inflammation in gout. However, It is not a pain reliever. Colchicine is considered one of the most effective treatments for acute gout and is recommended as a first-line therapy. Corticosteroids are often a choice for those for whom colchicine or NSAIDs are ineffective or contraindicated.

The second line or follow-up treatment involves using medications that block uric acid production or those that help facilitate uric acid removal. Some common medicines that block uric acid production include xanthine oxidase inhibitors, namely allopurinol and febuxostat. Allopurinol is a popular choice, according to ACR guidelines, as a urate-lowering medication. Genetic testing for a variant called HLA B*5801 may be carried out before starting allopurinol because those with this gene are prone to develop a severe allergic reaction.

Medications that aid in uric acid removal include probenecid (Probalan). This helps the kidneys to remove more uric acid than usual. Probenecid may be used in conjunction with allopurinol or febuxostat when required.

Do you require medication for gout flare-ups? Connect with one of our doctors!

Consult a doctor

Gout can affect the quality of life, and acute gouty arthritis is excruciating. Optimal management of acute gout includes NSAIDs, colchicine, corticosteroids and other medications. If you want to know whether Prednisone helps a gout attack, if you should take Prednisone for gout flare-ups, the best NSAID for gout, or the right indomethacin dosage for gout, you have landed on the right page. Consult with our doctor at Your Doctors Online. 

FAQs about Prednisone for gout

How long does it take to flush gout out?

If treatment is started promptly, symptoms should improve within 3 days. Without treatment, symptoms can last 2 weeks or longer. Keeping yourself hydrated can help flush out urate crystals, and managing your diet can greatly impact your recovery. 

Can I take colchicine and Prednisone together for gout?

NSAIDs, Prednisone and colchicine, can be prescribed simultaneously in cases of a severe gout flare or flare-up that involves several joints.

Is Prednisone better than colchicine for gout?

Colchicine is considered the drug of first choice for acute gout attacks. Although, guidelines recommend the use of NSAIDs and systemic corticosteroids as well. Colchicine is effective for preventing gout flares in adults, but it does alleviate pain. 
Therefore, for acute fare-ups, Prednisone is used for the treatment at a dosage of 30 mg to 40 mg per day until symptoms improve.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Khanna, Puja P., et al. “Treatment of acute gout: a systematic review.” Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism. Vol. 44. No. 1. WB Saunders, 2014.
  • Rainer, Timothy Hudson, et al. “Oral prednisolone in the treatment of acute gout: a pragmatic, multicenter, double-blind, randomized trial.” Annals of internal medicine 164.7 (2016): 464-471.
  • Groff, Gerald D., Walter A. Franck, and Donald A. Raddatz. “Systemic steroid therapy for acute gout: a clinical trial and review of the literature.” Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism. Vol. 19. No. 6. WB Saunders, 1990.
  • Janssens, Hein JEM, et al. “Use of oral prednisolone or naproxen for the treatment of gout arthritis: a double-blind, randomised equivalence trial.” The Lancet 371.9627 (2008): 1854-1860.

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