Current management of gout: Practical messages from 2016 EULAR guidelines

George Nuki, Michael Doherty, Pascal Richette

Full article

A PDF of the full version of the article, published in Polish Archives of Internal Medicine, can be accessed free of charge here.


The European League Against Rheumatism published updated recommendations for the management of gout in 2016, comprising 3 overarching principles and 11 key recommendations for clinical practice.

Patient education about the pathophysiology of gout and its comorbidities as well as the existence of effective treatments are important, and understanding the principles of managing acute attacks and eliminating urate crystals by lifelong lowering of the serum urate (SU) below a target level are essential. Advice about lifestyle, diet, weight, and other risk factors, as well as the need to screen for and manage comorbidities is emphasized.

For the treatment of flares, colchicine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and oral or intraarticular steroids, or a combination thereof, are recommended. In patients with frequent flares and contraindications to colchicine, NSAIDs, and corticosteroids, an interleukin-1 blocker should be considered.

Urate-lowering therapy (ULT) should be discussed from the first presentation of the disease, and SU levels should be maintained at less than 6 mg/dL (360 µmol/L), or less than 5 mg/dL (300 µmol/L) in patients with severe gout. Allopurinol is recommended as first-line ULT with dose adjustment according to renal function. If the SU target cannot be achieved with allopurinol, then febuxostat, a uricosuric, or combining a xanthine oxidase inhibitor with a uricosuric should be considered. All ULTs should be started at low dose and titrated upwards until the SU target is achieved. Unless contraindicated, flare prophylaxis with low-dose colchicine or with NSAIDs at low dosage is recommended during the first 6 months of ULT.

In patients with refractory gout, pegloticase can be considered.

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