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Gout and a pseudogout are similar conditions caused by different crystal deposits in joints.

Treatment of gout

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Colchicine®, ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, others) and naproxen (Aleve®, others), may provide relief from the gout attacks.

The side effects of these medications include stomach pain, bleeding and ulcers. Colchicine® is the traditional first-step treatment but it isn’t so common nowadays. The joint pain usually begins to subside 12 hours after the treatment with Colchicine® has started and is gone within 36 to 48 hours.

Sometimes, in severe cases only, the doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid drug such as Prednisone®. Although steroids can provide dramatic relief, they can also cause serious side effects, including bones thinning, poor wound healing and decreased ability to fight the infections.

Medications for excretion of uric acid
Drugs that cause excretion of uric acid in the urine, such as sulfinpyrazone, can be used to lower the uric acid level in the blood.

If pain medication is needed, acetaminophen or other analgesics can be safely used instead.

Lifestyle changes
Once the acute attack is under control, the doctor may recommend a preventive treatment to slow the rate at which your body produces uric acid or to increase the rate at which it's excreted. Avoiding alcoholic drinks, losing weight, stopping drugs that cause elevated blood levels of uric acid, and eating smaller amounts of purines-rich foods may be all that is needed.

Treatment of pseudogout

There are no treatments to dissolve the crystal deposits that cause pseudogout making this disorder very hard to treat. The treatment focuses mainly on relieving the pain by controlling the joint inflammation and on preventing joint damage.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or Indomethacin, are available and very effective in relieving pain and swelling.

Sometimes, corticosteroids such as Prednisone and even some steroid-hormones can be injected directly into the joint to quickly stop the inflammation. Corticosteroids can also be taken orally, but are never used for more than a few days to avoid the side effects.

Cold compresses
Applying a cold compress to the painful joint and limiting movement during an attack may also provide some relief.