Gout is the most common and most important of the crystal arthropathies. In our latitudes, it is the most common inflammatory joint disease of all.

As a result of hyperuricemia, urate crystal-induced inflammation of the joints or soft tissues occurs. The prevalence of gout shows considerable regional and ethnic differences, is on the rise, and currently ranges from 3 to 4% in western countries, with men being affected twice as often. According to studies, the prevalence of hyperuricemia reaches values as high as 21% regardless of gender, which is partly due to the increase in obesity. A positive family history is found in 30%. hyperuricemia has now emerged as a cardiovascular risk factor.1 The most common uricostatic drug and the first-line agent for hyperuricemia requiring treatment is allopurinol. It inhibits uric acid formation and thus promotes the excretion of soluble precursors such as xanthine and hypoxanthine.2 The active substance allopurinol has been on the WHO’s list of essential medicines since 1977.3


1 Arzt & Praxis (ed.) Gout and Hyperuricemia: http://www.arztundpraxis.at/index.php?id=262&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=2756&cHash=00acd37bdff83bbdd195fa5f174d8852 (accessed: 11/4/2013).

2 Arzneimittelverlags-GmbH Berlin (ed.). Assessment Allopurinol: http://www.arznei-telegramm.de/db/01wkstxt.php3?&knr=&art=beide&nummer=Allopurinol&ord=uaw (accessed: 11/4/2013).

3 WHO (ed.). WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines: Allopurinol; 18th list: http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmedicines/18th_EML.pdf (accessed: 4.11.2013).

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