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Febuxostat More Effective Than Allopurinol for Gout

Serum urate concentrations significantly lowered in patients receiving febuxostat

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Febuxostat is more effective than allopurinol in the treatment of gout, researchers report in the Dec. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Michael A. Becker, M.D., of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in Illinois, and colleagues randomly assigned 762 patients with gout to receive either 300 mg of allopurinol or either 80 mg or 120 mg of febuxostat once a day for 52 weeks. All patients had serum urate concentrations of at least 8 mg per deciliter.

The researchers found that serum urate concentrations were significantly lowered in both groups receiving febuxostat. Urate levels were reduced to less than 6 mg per deciliter in 53% of patients receiving 80 mg febuxostat, 62% of patients receiving 120 mg febuxostat, and 21% of patients receiving allopurinol. The reduction in gout flares and tophus area were similar in all groups.

"Febuxostat, at a daily dose of 80 mg or 120 mg, was more effective than allopurinol at the commonly used fixed daily dose of 300 mg in lowering serum urate," the authors conclude. An accompanying editorial suggests that "the relative costs of allopurinol and febuxostat may influence the decision to use one or the other."

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