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Ann Intern Med. 2016 Apr 5;164(7):464-71. doi: 10.7326/M14-2070. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Oral Prednisolone in the Treatment of Acute Gout: A Pragmatic, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized Trial.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Two recent double-blind, randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) showed that oral steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have similar analgesic effectiveness for management of gout, but the trials had small sample sizes and other methodological limitations.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effectiveness and safety of oral prednisolone versus oral indomethacin in patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) with acute gout.

DESIGN:

Multicenter, double-blind, randomized equivalence trial. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to receive either indomethacin or prednisolone. (ISRCTN registry number: ISRCTN45724113).

SETTING:

Four EDs in Hong Kong.

PARTICIPANTS:

416 patients aged 18 years or older.

MEASUREMENTS:

Analgesic effectiveness was defined as changes in pain (at rest or with activity) greater than 13 mm on a 100-mm visual analogue scale. Outcomes were measured during the first 2 hours in the ED and from days 1 to 14.

RESULTS:

376 patients completed the study. Equivalent and clinically significant within-group reductions in mean pain score were observed with indomethacin and prednisolone in the ED (approximately 10 mm [rest] and 20 mm [activity]) and from days 1 to 14 (approximately 25 mm [rest] and 45 mm [activity]). No major adverse events occurred during the study. During the ED phase, patients in the indomethacin group had more minor adverse events than those in the prednisolone group (19% vs. 6%; P < 0.001). During days 1 to 14, 37% of patients in each group had minor adverse events.

LIMITATION:

Diagnosis of gout was usually based on clinical criteria rather than examination of joint fluid.

CONCLUSION:

Oral prednisolone and indomethacin had similar analgesic effectiveness among patients with acute gout. Prednisolone is a safe, effective first-line option for treatment of acute gout.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE:

Health and Health Services Research Grant Committee of the Hong Kong Government.

PMID:
26903390
DOI:
10.7326/M14-2070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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