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Home Care for a Gout Flare-Up continued...

Your health care provider may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), indomethacin (Indocin), sulindac (Clinoril), celecoxib (Celebrex), or meloxicam (Mobic) or suggest you take over-the-counter NSAIDs in prescription doses. This usually will be effective.

In some cases, you already may be taking medicine to help avoid gout flare-ups. Your doctor may suggest:

  • febuxostat (Uloric)
  • allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim)
  • colchicine (Colcrys)
  • probenecid (Benemid)

Just because you have a flare doesn't mean these medicines aren't working. In the first few months that you take this type of gout medication, you actually may have a gout flare-up as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your doctor will likely have given you medicine to take if this happens, so take that medicine when you have a flare. Continue to take the preventive medicine, too.

If you have been taking preventive gout medicine for a long time and have started to have flares for the first time in a while, call your doctor. He may talk to you about changing your dosage or your medicine.

Non-Medication Pain Relief

In addition to medication, these self-care tips may help your gout flare-up pain:

  • Use cold. If the pain isn't too bad, try cold packs or cold compresses on the joint to lessen the inflammation and help the pain. Ice the joint for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day.
  • Rest the joint. It's a good idea to rest until the pain lessens. Most people having an acute attack of gouty arthritis probably won't want to move the joint much anyway. Raise the joint if you can on a pillow or other soft object.
  • Drink water. A lack of water in your body can make your uric acid levels rise even higher than they already are. Drinking water will help your body stabilize uric acid to a normal level.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Foods that are high in purines (seafood, organ meats like liver, and even some vegetables) can increase the uric acid in your blood even more. So can fructose-sweetened drinks and alcohol -- especially beer.

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