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General Medical Questions
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Question : Does high blood pressure medicine cause gout?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. is associate physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 20 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as the Robinson Firm Chief. He is also a teacher in the Rheumatology Fellowship Program.

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December 04, 2013
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It’s very common for people with gout to have high blood pressure, even if they are not taking medicine. And some blood pressure medicines make gout more likely. That’s especially true for diuretic drugs, such as hydrochlorothiazide.

Gout is caused by a buildup of a normal waste product called uric acid.  When it deposits in joints, it may cause a sudden and severe attack of arthritis.

Also some drugs for gout can increase blood pressure. That’s especially true for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin or naproxen) and corticosteroids (by pill or injection). But in most people the effect of these drugs on blood pressure is not a major concern. Why? Gout attacks usually last only a few days. So when given for this reason, these treatments usually have an impact on blood pressure that is minor and temporary.

There are other drugs for gout which do not typically affect blood pressure.  Two examples are colchicine (which treats or prevents attacks) and allopurinol (which lowers uric acid).

Finally, severe pain — including that caused by gout — can raise blood pressure. Effective treatment might actually lower it.

For these reasons, concerns about high blood pressure aren’t usually a barrier to treating gout. If you have gout and are prone to high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Fortunately, there are some good ones.

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