What are treatment options for pseudogout?
As with many arthritic conditions, there is no cure for pseudogout. Treatment focuses on managing the symptoms to alleviate pain and improve the function of the joint involved. Currently, there are no treatments available to dissolve the crystals associated with pseudogout.
The medications used for the treatment of pseudogout is similar to gout:
- Colchicine (Colcrys)- an anti-inflammatory specifically for gout but has been shown to be equally effective in pseudogout when over-the-counter medications fail. If frequent flare-ups of pseudogout occur, sometimes your healthcare provider may decide to have you take this medication daily for prevention.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- Over-the-counter formulations are usually recommended first. But, if these options are not successful in combating the symptoms of pseudogout, prescription preparations can be used as a stronger alternative.
- Corticosteroids- another option if colchicine or NSAIDs have not been successful in managing symptoms of pseudogout. This medication has both oral and injectable options.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)- reserved for severe cases of pseudogout flare-ups. Examples include:
- hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo)
- azathioprine (Imuran)
Other treatments include:
- Joint aspiration- this treatment involves removing the inflamed fluid from the joint with a needle. Many times a corticosteroid and numbing agent will also be injected into the joint after the fluid has been removed to provide temporary relief of symptoms.
- Joint surgery- helpful when conservative treatments have failed. This treatment involves surgical removal of the damaged joint to improve mobility and function to the damaged area. An implant may sometimes be used, or fusion of the joint may be performed.
Research shows maintaining a healthy diet and weight may also be effective in managing pseudogout symptoms. Pseudogout can be tricky to treat as it can sometimes be overlooked as a possible cause of someone’s symptoms. Having trained specialists like ours at TeleMed2U may sometimes be the first step in receiving a definitive diagnosis. There are several treatment options available to help manage your symptoms, and our healthcare team is always available to help.