Gout should be treated straight away because it is very painful, and it can cause damage to the joint if not treated. So if you have not had gout before or the attacks are frequent or recurrent, you should see a doctor.
The treatment is with painkillers such as paracetamol (aspirin is not recommended), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as diclofenac, indomethacin or naproxen. In some cases, doctors may prescribe corticosteroid (taken by mouth or injected into an affected joint), or colchicine, which is effective but tends to cause diarrhoea as a side effect. These medications will quickly relieve the pain and reduce the swelling and redness.
It is also important to rest the joint. Putting ice on the joint and elevating it can help ease the pain.
Last reviewed: August 2015