This treatment for 'killer' toe pain could kill YOU
If you've ever had a bout with gout, the name alone is enough to make you wince.
It's so bad that you'll toe the line and swallow just about anything your doc gives you if he promises that it'll end the agony.
But don't touch that pill just yet.
New research shows how the increasingly popular drug febuxostat, given to gout patients, could HURT you... or even KILL you.
The new study compared the drug to an older and cheaper med called allopurinol.
This old standard drug isn't very good... and it comes with plenty of risks of its own.
But it's light-years ahead of the newer drug by one positively crucial measure -- it's less likely to KILL you!
The new study finds that taking febuxostat over allopurinol will increase your risk of death from all causes by 22 percent and death from heart problems by 34 percent.
Those would be bad odds if you took the drug even occasionally for gout.
But that's not how this thing works.
Febuxostat is a "lifetime" drug. You take it from now until the end -- even if that means the "end" is a whole lot closer than it should be (thanks to the drug).
That's no way to live.
This isn't to say that you should stick to the older drug. Compared to febuxostat, it might not KILL you, but up to 1 in 10 patients who take the med battle some degree of side effects.
Those include a few that might be as bad as the gout!
Folks who take the drug can end up with diarrhea, painful and bloody urine (yikes!), and -- ironically -- joint pain.
In fact, both of these drugs come with so many misery-inducing side effects that few people can tolerate them for any extended period: In the new study, 57 percent quit taking febuxostat, while 56 percent gave up on allopurinol.
There's a simpler way that's backed by science.
It's 100 percent safe and a whole lot easier to stick to.
This approach doesn't get the attention it deserves, probably because there's no big-money drug being sold here.
But it works.
You can cut or even eliminate the flare-ups by attacking purines, which form uric acid crystals in joints, especially the big toe. That leads to the infamous pain that can feel like "shattered glass" stabbing you from the inside.
Avoid or at least restrict cheese, certain meats -- especially red meats and organ meats -- and some types of seafood, including anchovies, sardines, and herring. Doing so will reduce the purines, which will stop the uric acid crystals from forming and prevent those agonizing flare-ups.
In addition, a daily cup of cherry juice can reduce the risk of an attack by 35 percent, while boosting your intake of vitamin C can cut the risk by nearly half.