A clinical trial is a research program conducted with arthritis patients to evaluate a new medical treatment, drug, or device. The purpose of clinical trials is to find new and improved methods of treating different diseases and special conditions.
Clinical trials make it possible to apply the latest scientific and technological advances in arthritis to patient care. During a clinical trial, doctors use the best available treatment as a standard to evaluate new treatments. The new treatments are considered to be at least as effective or possibly more effective than the standard.
Symptoms of gout usually strike unexpectedly. They typically do not last more than a week, but may recur. Although, less commonly, some patients may have chronic pain due to gout. Symptoms of a gout attack may include:
Sudden, intense pain in a joint, typically the big toe or ankle, sometimes the knee, hand, or wrist
Swelling, inflammation, and a feeling that the joint is very hot
Extreme tenderness of the joint to even the lightest touch
Red or purple skin around the joint
New arthritis treatment options are first researched in the lab where they are carefully studied in the test tube and in laboratory animals. Only the treatments most likely to work are further evaluated in a small group of people prior to applying them in a larger clinical trial.
When a new medical treatment is studied for the first time in people, it is not known exactly how it will work. With any new treatment, there are possible risks as well as benefits. Clinical trials help doctors determine:
If the treatment is safe and effective
If the treatment is potentially better than the treatments currently available
What the side effects of the treatment are
If the treatment has any possible risks
How well the treatment works
Clinical trials are conducted in phases, each designed to find out specific information. Each new phase of a clinical trial builds on information from previous phases.
Participants may be eligible for clinical trials in different phases, depending on their overall condition. Most clinical trial participants take part in phases III and IV.