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26-09-2014 | Gout | Article

Urate-Lowering Therapy: Current Options and Future Prospects for Elderly Patients with Gout

Drugs & Aging

Authors: Lisa K. Stamp, Peter T. Chapman

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


Gout is increasingly seen in the elderly population, in large part due to physiological decline in renal function with age, and as a result of therapy for comorbidities, in particular the use of diuretic therapies for hypertension and congestive heart failure. Urate-lowering therapy (ULT) is the cornerstone of successful long-term gout management with the aim of achieving a sustained reduction in urate (<0.36 mmol/L, or lower [<0.30 mmol/L] in those with tophi). After decades during which there has been relatively little interest in developing new agents to treat gout, the last 5–10 years has seen a plethora of new agents with several now used in routine clinical practice. There has also been a renewed focus on the optimal use of established ULT, specifically allopurinol, which remains the first-line therapy for most patients. There is emerging data on its use in patients with renal impairment and better recognition of risk factors of the rare but potentially lethal allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS). Febuxostat, a new xanthine oxidase inhibitor, is now established in everyday practice. Uricosuric agents may be indicated in certain patient groups, whilst a new class of recombinant uricases (pegloticase) given by intravenous infusion may achieve dramatic and rapid urate-lowering effects. Cost and other factors have thus far limited its use to the very severe cases. Furthermore, increased understanding of urate metabolism has led to the development of a number of drugs currently under clinical evaluation. Common therapeutic targets are the urate transporters in the kidney and alternative xanthine oxidase inhibition pathways. These advances bode well for the better management of gout and hyperuricaemia in our elderly patients.

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