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Corticosteroids for Gout

Examples

Generic NameBrand Name
dexamethasone
hydrocortisoneCortef
methylprednisoloneMedrol
prednisone
triamcinoloneKenalog

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 gout.

Why It Is Used

Corticosteroids may be used for:

Corticosteroids should not be given to people who have a joint infection.

How Well It Works

Corticosteroids usually provide rapid relief from gout symptoms. Because of their potential side effects if used for a long time, corticosteroids are usually prescribed only for a short time.

Side Effects

Common short-term side effects include:

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 used when bacterial arthritis is present.
  • People who have high blood pressure should monitor their pressure while they are using corticosteroids.
  • People who have diabetes may need more medicine or insulin when they are using corticosteroids to treat their gout.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Last RevisedJune 12, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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