February 15, 2009 in Nation/World

FDA approves new gout drug

Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first new treatment for gout in more than 40 years, a company said Saturday.

Takeda Inc. said Uloric, a once-daily drug, was approved by the FDA on Friday to fight gout, a painful joint disease that mainly strikes middle-aged men. About 5 million people in the U.S. suffer from gout, a form of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood.

Uloric works by reducing levels of uric acid.

In healthy people, uric acid is dissolved in the blood and excreted from the body in urine. But high levels lead to the formation of needle-like crystals that become deposited in the joints, causing intense pain and swelling. Many patients experience their first attack of gout in the big toe. The disease can progress, causing deformities.

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