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New drug for gout shows early promise

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 05 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0-e

Research question Is febuxostat a safe and effective alternative to allopurinol for patients with gout?

Answer Febuxostat seems better than a fixed dose of allopurinol at reducing serum concentrations of urate, but not at improving the clinical symptoms of gout.

Why did the authors do the study? Febuxostat is a new and potent xanthine oxidase inhibitor, designed to reduce the production of uric acid in people with gout. Like allopurinol, it is for preventing, not treating, acute attacks of gout. Febuxostat is the first new drug in this field for several decades. The authors wanted to compare the new drug with the current standard treatment, allopurinol. Their study was …

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