New gout medicine takes many different forms.
Here I summarize an investigation into a medicine called anakinra (brand name Kineret), which is a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
This gout medicine report is a layman’s summary of an investigation into the treatment of gout using a rheumatoid arthritis medicine presented at the 2012 ACR meeting.
Anakinra is a genetically engineered protein that inhibits one of the inflammation pathways in the body. As inflammation is at the heart of both rheumatoid arthritis and gout, then it makes sense to investigate if rheumatoid arthritis drugs can be used as gout medicine to help manage pain.
Gout Medicine Study
- The Treatment of Acute Gouty Arthritis in Complex Hospitalized Patients with Anakinra
- Mary Bach, Jane Park, Pradipta Ghosh, Peter A. Simkin and Gregory C. Gardner, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- ACR Annual Meeting Nov 2012
Gout Medicine Study: Background/Purpose
This is a follow-up study to provide more information about the experience of patients taking anakinra. It is mainly concerned with gout patients, but also includes one patient with pseudogout.
Gout Medicine Study: Methods
The authors studied 5 years medical records of gout and pseudogout patients who had taken anakinra. Data includes:
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Additional health problems
- Uric acid level
- Joints and other tissues involved
- Anakinra dosage
- Time to start of improvement
- Time to complete pain and inflammation stopping
- Possible side effects
The side effects monitored were infection and low white blood cell count (leukopenia).
Gout Medicine Study: Results
The results cover 26 patients who received 40 courses of anakinra. 18 had failed to find adequate relief from colchicine and/or steroids, and 8 were not suitable for these treatments due to other health problems. None of the 26 were suitable for NSAIDs such as naproxen or ibuprofen.
Attacks affected more than one joint in 29 of the 40 episodes. Joints affected were:
- 44.5%: Foot & ankle
- 25.0%: Hand & wrist
- 18.5%: Knees
- 12.0%: Shoulders, elbows & tendons
67.5% of patients felt significant relief within 1 day, and 85% within 2 days. All signs and symptoms of gout stopped after 5 days in 72.5%. 7 patients had no benefit after 5 courses, and one showed no benefit at all.
No side-effects were reported.
Gout Medicine Study: Conclusion
Anakinra is an effective and safe alternative treatment for acute gouty arthritis in medically complex patients who fail or cannot undergo more conventional therapy
Gout Medicine: Next Steps
If you get no benefit from colchicine, steroids, or NSAIDs, or other health conditions prevent their use, please discuss anakinra with your doctor.
Please share your experiences of anakinra, or ask any questions you may have, in the gout remedies forum.