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How Effective Is Ibuprofen for Gout?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Ibuprofen for gout is an effective treatment for pain and inflammation. Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by the accumulation of uric acid in the blood. In addition, acute gout generally causes pain and inflammation in only one joint, where chronic gout can cause symptoms in multiple joints. When ibuprofen is used as a treatment option, swelling, redness, and pain are typically relieved. The big toe is the most commonly affected joint, however, gout can occur in any joint of the body.

Causes of gout include the production of excess amounts of uric acid or the body's inability to excrete uric acid. In addition, those with kidney disease, diabetes, anemia, and leukemia are also at risk for developing gout. Furthermore, gout can be hereditary and is most common in men, people who consume alcoholic beverages, and post-menopausal women. Taking diuretics or water pills may also predispose people to gout, as can obesity.

Taking ibuprofen for gout should only be considered after consulting with a health care provider. Other medications may be warranted and more effective in managing symptoms. Although taking ibuprofen for gout may help reduce symptoms, side effects such as stomach upset and abnormal bleeding may occur. In addition, those taking medications that thin the blood should refrain from taking ibuprofen for gout until deemed safe by the medical professional.

Although symptoms of gout may be mild, severe symptoms can occur as well. These include sudden, throbbing, or unrelenting pain, joint tenderness, and even fever. In certain cases, gout can cause permanent joint damage and diminished range of motion. Diagnostic tests used to determine the presence of gout include blood tests to evaluate uric acid levels, uric acid urine testing, x-rays, and joint fluid analysis. Other than anti-inflammation drugs, medications such as codeine, corticosteroids, and colchicine may be recommended to manage symptoms.

Dietary changes can also help alleviate symptoms of gout, and generally include avoiding alcohol, limiting meat and fatty foods, and reducing the intake of foods containing a substance called purine. Examples of foods containing purine include sardines, herring, legumes and spinach. Other foods that contain purine include asparagus, peas, and brewer's yeast. High levels of dietary purine can exacerbate pain and swelling, as can consuming inadequate amounts complex carbohydrates.

The symptoms of gout can be so severe that they can be disruptive to a person's activities of daily living. In some cases, the pain and swelling are so profound in the big toe that wearing shoes becomes almost impossible without causing excruciating pain. When this type of unrelenting pain occurs, the health care provider may need to further evaluate the condition to determine if permanent damage to the joints is present.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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