Oral Prednisolone in the Treatment of Acute Gout: A Pragmatic, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized Trial
SourceAnnals of Internal Medicine C.2, 164, 7, (2016), pp. 464-471
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Annals of Internal Medicine C.2
SubjectRadboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
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.
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