An acute gout attack will eventually go away on its own. This can take anywhere from 3-14 days. Comfort measures can help manage swelling and pain:
- Rest the joint
- Keep the joint elevated
- Put an ice pack on the affected joint
- Keep the weight of clothes and bed covers off the affected joint
- If possible, avoid moving or placing any pressure on the affected joint
When to Contact Your Doctor
An acute attack of gout increases the risk of recurrent attacks. Call your doctor right away if:
- You think you may be experiencing a gout attack for the first time
- You have had gout attacks before, but your prescribed treatment does not control this attack quickly
- Your symptoms worsen, do not improve, or keep coming back
- Rash or hives develop
- New or unexpected symptoms develop
Prompt treatment is necessary to limit the severity of the attack and to help prevent permanent joint damage and disability.
Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Accessed February 24, 2020.
Gout management—treatment of acute attack. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T474276/Gout-management-treatment-of-acute-attack. Accessed February 24, 2020.
Gout treatment. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/treatment.php. Accessed February 24, 2020.
Last reviewed January 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP Last Updated:1/21/2020