How to Treat Gout with Prednisone

Physiotherapist controlling patients foot
A doctor examines a patient's foot. (Image: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images)

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that typically attacks the big toe. The onset of gout is usually sudden, causing intense pain, redness and inflammation from the buildup of urate crystals within the joint. According to MayoClinic.com, these crystals can form when the uric acid levels in the body are too high. Uric acid is formed from the breakdown of certain foods, including organ meats, asparagus and anchovies. Uric acid usually passes from the body through the kidneys, but when levels get too high, it can precipitate out in the small joints. Prednisone is one of the drugs used to treat gout.

Step 1

Consult your medical doctor or health-care provider to determine if taking prednisone is an option. Prednisone is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Prednisone mat not be able to be taken by those with some medical conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure.

Step 2

Review current medications and supplements that you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements, with your health-care provider. Prednisone can cause interactions with some medications and supplements, such as blood thinners and birth control pills. It can act to increase, decrease or alter their effects.

Step 3

Discuss with your health-care provider what type and dosage of prednisone is best suited for your treatment. Prednisone is available in tablets and as oral solutions. Your doctor will determine if prednisone will be used as a short-term or long-term therapy. Starting doses range from 5mg to 60mg a day. Your doctor will determine the lowest effective dose.

Step 4

Ask your health-care provider about the side effects of prednisone. Some of the side effects include headache, fragile skin and weight gain.

Step 5

Take your medication as directed. If you miss a dose, call your health-care provider for instructions. Do not stop taking prednisone suddenly without discussing it with your doctor, because there can be withdrawal symptoms.

Things You'll Need

  • List of all current medications

  • List of all current supplements

  • Prednisone tablets or oral suspension

  • Calibrated measuring spoon or cup

  • Glass of water

Tip

Measure your dose of liquid prednisone with the dose-measuring spoon provided, not with a regular teaspoon.

Inform your other doctors and dentist immediately that you are taking prednisone.

Store the prednisone as recommended by your pharmacist.

Warning

Avoid contact with those who are suffering from a cold or the flu, because prednisone suppresses the immune system.

Do not eat grapefruit while taking prednisone, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

Take prednisone under a doctor's care only. Prednisone can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure at higher dosages.

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