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Carol Eustice

Diuretic Drugs Increase Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks

By July 14, 2006

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Gout is considered one of the most intensely painful types of arthritis. Gout develops from an accumulation of excess uric acid in the body which causes uric acid crystals to deposit in the joints. During an acute episode of gout, the patient may be startled by the suddenness and severity of joint pain and swelling.

Diuretic drugs, also known as water pills, are commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure, edema, and congestive heart failure. Study results reported in the July 2006 issue of Journal of Rheumatology indicate that taking diuretic drugs more than triple the risk of recurrent gout attacks.

The study involved 197 patients, mostly male, who had experienced a gout attack within the last year and had recently been treated with diuretic drugs. Researchers concluded that, if other treatment options are possible, it may be best for people who are are susceptible to gout attacks to avoid using diuretics.

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