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Joint Bone Spine
Volume 71, n° 6
pages 481-485 (novembre 2004)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jbspin.2004.07.006
Received : 13 July 2004 ;  accepted : 13 July 2004
Current management of gout in patients unresponsive or allergic to allopurinol

Thomas Bardin
Rheumatology Federation, Lariboisière Teaching Hospital, 2, rue Ambroise Paré, 75010 cedex Paris, France 

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +33-1-49-95-62-90; fax: +33-1-49-95-86-31.

Lecture presented at the 17th Meeting of the Société Française de Rhumatologie, CNIT – La Défense, Paris, Novembre 2004


The manifestations of gout can be abolished permanently by lifelong urate-lowering therapy maintaining serum urate levels under 360 mmol/l, as this ensures dissolution of pathogenic crystals of monosodium urate monohydrate. Benzbromarone has been withdrawn from the market, leaving allopurinol as the only urate-lowering drug readily available in France. Allopurinol may induce unacceptable side effects, and in patients with dose-limiting renal failure it may not be sufficiently effective. Because allopurinol can induce serious side effects when given concomitantly with purine antimetabolites, it is contraindicated in organ transplant recipients. In patients who cannot tolerate allopurinol, dietary treatment, discontinuation of diuretic agents, and use of losartan or fenofibrate to treat concomitant hypertension or dyslipidemia, respectively, may ensure adequate control of serum urate levels. Desensitization to allopurinol can be attempted in patients with mild cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions but is difficult to perform and rarely used. Uricosuric agents may be helpful in patients with normal or diminished urate excretion. Probenecid is available in France from hospital pharmacies, and benzbromarone can be prescribed via a time-limited authorization procedure. Rasburicase, an Aspergillus urate oxidase produced by genetic engineering, is indicated to prevent acute hyperuricemia induced by chemotherapy for hematological malignancies. Factors that limit the use of rasburicase include the absence of a marketing authorization, the need for parenteral administration, and the absence of validated treatment schedules. Patients with renal failure precluding the use of effective allopurinol dosages are good candidates for benzbromarone therapy. Organ transplant recipients can be given benzbromarone, within the current restrictions to its use; alternatively, mycophenolate mofetil can be substituted for calcineurin inhibitors, which elevate serum urate levels, or for azathioprine, which contraindicates the use of allopurinol.

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Keywords : Gout, Allopurinol, Hypersensibility

© 2004  Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
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