If you think gout is bad, just wait 'til you see the latest "cure."
This new drug treatment doesn't replace what's already out there. It's in addition to it -- so you have to take both bad meds, doubling your risk of side effects and other problems.
Let's start with the old bad treatment: allopurinol, a pill that slowly -- very slowly -- lowers levels of the uric acid responsible for gout flare-ups.
It works so slowly, in fact, that you have to wonder if it even works at all.
But now, researchers say that adding a new bad treatment to the mix -- weekly injections of the drug rilonacept -- can slash the number of gout outbreaks. In the new study, just 15 percent of patients on the combo experiencing flare-ups over 12 weeks, versus 45 percent of those on just the allopurinol.
Impressed? Don't be -- and not just because this was a very small study involving only 83 patients, didn't include a true control group of patients who got no treatment or only placebos, and was funded by the drug's maker.
Don't be impressed because even if it's all true -- even if the rilonacept and allopurinol combo really can lower your risk of gout flare-ups -- the risks are insane.
Rilonacept suppresses the immune system, putting you at risk for any number of diseases and conditions up to and including cancer. Some studies have found that more than a third of patients on this med can develop infections -- including respiratory and urinary infections.
Allopurinol on its own is no picnic either: In the months -- yes, months -- it takes for the drug to kick in, it can actually make your gout worse than ever.
That's more attacks -- and more pain -- caused by the very drug that's supposed to end it.
And if that's not enough, allopurinol has also been linked to painful urination and blood in the urine, stomach problems, infection-like symptoms and more.
Who wants to deal with all that? Not me -- and certainly not you.
Fortunately, in this case you don't have to rely on Big Pharma's non-cures because there are natural solutions for gout out there that don't take months to kick in.
Some of them work in days or even hours -- like cherries, which can reduce the risk of a gout flare-up by 50 percent within 48 hours. Celery stalks and celery seed extract have also been shown to help slash the risk of a gout attack.