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An acute gout attack will eventually go away on its own. This can take anywhere from 3-14 days. Comfort measures can help manage swelling and pain:

  • Rest the joint
  • Keep the joint elevated
  • Put an ice pack on the affected joint
  • Keep the weight of clothes and bed covers off the affected joint
  • If possible, avoid moving or placing any pressure on the affected joint

When to Contact Your Doctor

An acute attack of gout increases the risk of recurrent attacks. Call your doctor right away if:

  • You think you may be experiencing a gout attack for the first time
  • You have had gout attacks before, but your prescribed treatment does not control this attack quickly
  • Your symptoms worsen, do not improve, or keep coming back
  • Rash or hives develop
  • New or unexpected symptoms develop

Prompt treatment is necessary to limit the severity of the attack and to help prevent permanent joint damage and disability.

References:

Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017.

Gout management—treatment of acute attack. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T474276/Gout-management-treatment-of-acute-attack. Updated October 13, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2017.

Gout treatment. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/treatment.php. Accessed February 24, 2017.



Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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