22 Jul 2013

Men with untreated gout urged to see doctor

6:35 am on 22 July 2013

The Maori Gout Action Group is urging men with untreated gout to see their family doctor and get on top of the painful disorder.

It follows drug-buying agency Pharmac announcing a new medicine for people with gout will now be more easily available in New Zealand.

The medicine, benzbromarone, is considered particularly effective for Maori and Pacific men with gout, and can be used if the other main treatments either do not work or can not be tolerated by a patient.

Chair of the Maori Gout Action Group chair Karen Lindsay, a rheumatologist, said the condition is easy to treat but there are thousands of men with untreated gout.

She said these men need to go to their GP and ask for uric acid lowering treatment - and know what their uric acid level is.

Ms Lindsay said the uric acid target is 0.36 and if it is kept below this, then those with gout can expect to be mainly symptom free.