Overview of the management of acute gout and the role of adrenocorticotropic hormone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations


It is important to distinguish between therapy used to reduce acute inflammation in gout and therapy used to manage hyperuricaemia in patients with chronic gouty arthritis. This article discusses treatments for acute gout, emphasizing the use of corticotrophin (adrenocorticotropic hormone; ACTH) and the evidence on which we base our treatment of acute gout. There are no formal guidelines for the treatment of acute gout and only a few randomized controlled trials have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the various treatments for acute gout. The options available for the treatment of acute attacks of gout are NSAIDs, colchicine, corticosteroids, corticotropin and intra-articular corticosteroids. Most rheumatologists practicing in the US use combination therapy to treat acute gout, a practice that merits study. In a patient without complications, NSAIDs are the preferred therapy. The most important determinant of therapeutic success is not which NSAID is chosen, but rather how soon NSAID therapy is initiated. Exciting new research shows that corticotropin acts peripherally by activation of the melanocortin type 3 receptor, and this could be responsible, at least in part, for its efficacy in acute gout. Hopefully, this will lead to renewed interest in corticotropin as a treatment for acute gout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 11 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Corticotropin, therapeutic use
  • Gout, treatment
  • Gouty arthritis, treatment

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