Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Osteoarthritis Health Center

Font Size

Arthritis and Pseudogout

How Frequently Do Pseudogout Attacks Occur?

Like gout, pseudogout attacks can recur from time to time in the same joint or in different joints. The initial attack may last five to 12 days unless it is treated. Unlike with gout, which is linked to excessive alcohol consumption and a diet high in seafood and organ meats, pseudogout attacks are not linked to certain foods in your diet.

Over time, pseudogout attacks may increase, involve more joints, cause more severe symptoms, and last longer. The frequency of attacks is variable. Attacks may occur from once every few weeks to less than once a year. Frequent, repeated attacks can damage the affected joints.

How Is Pseudogout Diagnosed?

Pseudogout cannot be diagnosed simply from a blood test. An X-ray of the joint can be taken to look for the presence of calcium containing crystals located within the cartilage. To diagnose the condition, fluid is removed from the inflamed joint and analyzed under a microscope. The presence of CPP crystals indicates pseudogout.

Fluid is removed through a needle from the inflamed joint in a procedure called "arthrocentesis." Removing the fluid also may help reduce the pressure within the joint and thereby reduce pain.

How Is Pseudogout Treated?

The type of pseudogout treatment prescribed will depend on several factors, including the person's age, other medications he or she is taking, overall health, medical history, and the severity of the attacks. Drugs to treat pseudogout include:

  • Anti-inflammatory painkiller drugs, also called (NSAIDs), generally are prescribed to treat sudden and severe pseudogout attacks. NSAIDs -- such as ibuprofen and naproxen -- usually reduce inflammation and pain within hours.
  • Corticosteroids (also called steroids) may be prescribed for people who cannot take NSAIDs. Steroids also work by decreasing inflammation and can be injected into the affected joint or given as pills.
  • Colchicine, a gout drug, is sometimes used in low doses for a longer period of time to reduce the risk of recurrent attacks of pseudogout.

Anti-inflammatory medications are usually continued until the pseudogout attack subsides. Symptoms are often relieved within 24 hours after treatment has begun.

If side effects occur, the medication may be changed.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on November 18, 2015
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

elderly hands
Even with arthritis pain.
woman exercising
Here are 7 easy tips.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
Keep Joints Healthy
Chronic Pain Healthcheck
close up of man with gut
man knee support
woman with cold compress
Man doing tai chi
hand gripping green rubber ball
person walking with assistance