I'm using the medication called Allopurinol 300mg. I have been on it for the past six months and have had no flare-ups. I wonder though, how long will I have to be on this medication? I don't want to take any chances. I understand that aspirin works just as well. Is this true?
Parchilla - Allopurinol is a medication which inhibits the generation of uric acid in the cells, so that the concentration of uric acid in your blood is kept low and the urate crystals which cause gout won't form. Aspirin doesn't do that at all. It may ease the pain of a gout attack, but it may also increase the likelihood of a gout attack occurring because it makes the blood more acidic so that urate crystals are more likely to form.
At present, physicians who prescribe allopurinol view it as a life-long regimen, although some studies are being performed to see if after long-term usage the dosage can be reduced or even stopped.
It is quite possible that the immediate cause of your gout attacks was sleep apnea, which is the frequent cessation of breathing for many seconds at a time during sleep. The resulting reduction of oxygen in your blood makes the formation of urate crystals much more likely. Make sure that you don't have sleep apnea. If you do and you overcome it, you will it very likely find that you have no more gout attacks even with no allopurinol usage. More importantly, you will greatly reduce your risk for developing the life threatening consequences of sleep apnea -- heart disease, heart failure, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, etc. Allopurinol does little to prevent those diseases.
I sincerely thank you for your response. No I do not have sleep apnea nor any of the other condtions that you mention one might have, however, it is important to know that these conditions do exist and one must be very vigilant. I guess the best thing is to keep on using the allopurinol and hope for the best.
Never heard of sleep apnea causing a gout attack, but my wife tells me I have sleep apnea because she hears me gasping at night. I would have never known that I had this on my own. I'm on my 10th day of a gout attack at the moment. I thought it was gone yesterday, but now it is back worse than ever. I didn't have any pain, so I began walking normally for the first time yesterday. By the end of day, the pain and inflammation returned. I have been online reading about Gout all day and there is so much conflicting information it is almost impossible to figure out how to beat, or at least prevent these bouts. I guess the first thing to do is to lose the extra weight. This is what they say may eliminate, or at least reduce, the Sleep Apnea.
From what I have read so far, Aspirin will make a gout attack worse and should be avoided during an attack.
Java44 - For your long term health benefit, it is very important to overcome your sleep apnea. If you do you may find the immediate benefit of cessation of your gout attacks. Losing excess weight is a good start. Once your weight is down, you may find that ensuring that you never sleep on our back will do the trick.