What is Going on with the Gout Medication Uloric?

A Discussion on How Uloric May Affect Heart Attack Risk

January 22, 2020 - What is Gout? Uloric (Febuxostat) is a prescription medication used to lower blood uric acid levels among adults who have gout. Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis which is extremely painful and is the result of uric acid crystals in the joints. These uric acid crystals may also deposit in other tissues throughout the body (including the kidneys), which can then lead to kidney stones.

Although gout is more common in men, and more common in those over the age of 45, in fact it can occur to any individual at any age. Some of the factors which doctors believe may contribute to gout include a family history of gout, diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure.

Those who have gout may experience a sudden, severe episode of pain, often accompanied by inflammation and warmth in the affected joint. For many, the pain of a gout attack is so excruciating that many individuals go to the ER in search of relief. Gout often begins in the big toe, although an attack can spread to the feet, ankle, elbows, hands and wrists, causing permanent damage to the joints.

Many of those who have suffered an episode of gout report the affected joint feels as though it was caught in a mechanical device and that even something as light as a bed sheet touching the affected joint can cause pain. Most people who have one attack of gout will experience at least one more gout attack within a year; subsequent gout attacks can be more severe and last a longer length of time.

While gout does cause severe pain, only about ten percent of those affected will receive much-needed, ongoing treatment. This is despite the fact that when gout goes untreated, kidney stones and permanent joint damage can result. Gout is a lifelong condition however it can be managed with a treatment plan which may combine diet and lifestyle changes with medication. Gout is believed to affect about 8.3 million adults in the United States.

How Does Uloric Work? Uric acid comes from substances known as purines which can come from certain foods and drinks, or from within the body. Uloric stops the body from turning purines into uric acid. The manufacturer of Uloric, Takeda, lists the “common” Uloric side effects as joint pain, rash, nausea, liver problems and…gout flares.  

Issues Associated with Uloric - In February of this year the FDA concluded there was an increased risk of death among those taking Uloric as compared to another gout medication, allopurinol. The FDA based this conclusion on a safety clinical trial which found an increased risk of heart-related deaths as well as deaths from all causes from Uloric.

The FDA states that those who experience shortness of breath, chest pain, have trouble talking, become dizzy, experience a sudden, severe headache, experience numbness or weakness on one side of the body or develop an irregular or rapid heartbeat while taking Uloric should immediately seek medical attention.

Should You Consider a Uloric Lawsuit? If you have suffered injury after taking Uloric, you could potentially benefit from speaking to an experienced Uloric lawyer. Uloric side effects can be extremely serious—If you are taking Uloric as your gout medication, talk to your doctor about possibly prescribing a different gout treatment.

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Author: Andrew Sullo
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Andrew Sullo

Andrew SulloAndrew Sullo

Andrew Sullo is a National Trial Lawyer's Top 100 Selection for 2013-2019. He is a member of the American Association of Justice (2013-2019), and a recipient of the 2019 AVVO Client's Choice Award.

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