Corticosteroids for Gout
Depending on the drug, steroids may be given
intravenously, as pills, or as an injection.
How It Works
Corticosteroids decrease the pain,
swelling, redness, and warmth (inflammation) of
Why It Is Used
Corticosteroids may be used
- Gout attacks that are limited to a single
- Gout attacks that do not respond to nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or
- People who cannot take NSAIDs or colchicine, such as
those with kidney disease or a history of serious
ulcer disease and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Corticosteroids may also be used by people who have congestive heart failure or
take the blood-thinner warfarin or by people who are allergic to aspirin.
Corticosteroids should not be given to people who have a
How Well It Works
Corticosteroids usually provide
rapid relief from gout symptoms.2 Because of their
potential side effects if used for a long time, corticosteroids are usually
prescribed only for a short time.1
Common short-term side effects
Uncommon short-term side effects include:
Long-term side effects include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
- Corticosteroids are most often used in people
who are unable to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or
colchicine. If only one joint is affected, injection of corticosteroids into
the joint may be most effective. If multiple joints are involved,
corticosteroids may be injected into a vein or muscle or taken by mouth in pill
form, in gradually decreasing doses.
- Corticosteroids should not be
bacterial arthritis is present.
high blood pressure should monitor their pressure
while they are using corticosteroids.
- People with
diabetes may need more medicine or
insulin when they are using corticosteroids to treat
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Rott KT, Agudelo CA (2003). Gout. JAMA, 289(21): 2857-2860.
Terkeltaub R (2008). Gout and hyperuricemia section of
Crystal deposition diseases. In L Goldman, D Ausiello, eds., Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed., pp. 2069-2075. Philadelphia: