Colchicum is a general homeopathic remedy that can be used for pain relief during a gout attack. It is formulated from the same plant, Autumn crocus, as the drug colchicine, used in the conventional treatment of gout. Gout may be improved by having a constitutional remedy prescribed that is based on the tendency to develop the disease and its symptoms.
Standard medical treatment of acute attacks of gout includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen sodium (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil), or indomethacin (Indocin). Daily doses until the symptoms have subsided are recommended. Colchicine (Colbenemid), is also used. Corticosteroids such as prednisone (Deltasone, prednisolone, and corticotropin [ACTH]) may be given orally or may be injected directly into the joint for a more concentrated effect. Because these drugs can cause undesirable side effects, they are used for only about 48 hours so as not to cause major problems. Aspirin and other salicylates should be avoided, because they can impair uric acid excretion and may interfere with the actions of other gout medications.
Once an acute attack has been successfully treated, doctors try to prevent future attacks of gout and long-term joint damage by lowering uric acid levels in the blood. Colchicine is the drug of choice to deter recurrence. This medication can be very hard on the vascular system and the kidneys, however, and it is incompatible with a number of antidepressants, tranquilizers, and antihistamines. It should be avoided by pregnant women and the elderly.
There are two types of drugs used for lowering uric acid levels. Sometimes these drugs resolve the problem completely. However, the use of low-level amounts may be required for a lifetime. Uricosuric drugs, such as probenecid (Benemid) and sulfinpyrazone (Anturane), decrease urates in the blood by increasing their excretion. These drugs may also promote the formation of kidney stones, and they are contraindicated for patients with kidney disease. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors block the production of urates in the body. They can dissolve kidney stones as well as treat gout. Allopurinol is the drug most used in this respect. Its adverse effects include reactions with other medications, and the aggravation of existing skin, vascular, kidney, and liver dysfunction.
Patience Paradox, Rebecca J. Frey PhD, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,