Krystexxa for Effective Gout Treatment
Gout is a prevalent rheumatic disease that affects roughly 8.3 million people across the United States, according to the National Health Organization. This common form of inflammatory arthritis results due to excessive uric acid levels within the blood, which accumulate and form painful crystals in affected joints. Gout is characterized by the frequent onset of painful “flare ups”, which cause symptoms of swollen, red, warm to the touch, and tender joints. Patients with severe gout who are unresponsive to oral gout medications, may be prescribed a drug treatment known as Krystexxa, or medically known as Pegloticase, a type of recombinant pegylated uricase, which is a chemically modified enzyme that is able to degrade uric acid.
Krystexxa is given to gout patients via intravenous infusion. To learn more about this gout treatment please speak to a nurse professional, but in the meantime, let’s review how Pegloticase drugs, like Krystexxa, can help treat chronic gout:
1. Patients unresponsive to other gout treatments
A small percentage of gout patients are unresponsive to traditional gout therapies, such as anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), plant-derived Colchicine, prednisone (or other corticosteroid medications), and drugs meant to lower uric acid levels in the blood (i.e., Febuxostat and Allopurinol). However, the National Arthritis Association claims that approximately 3% of gout patients are unable to take these medications either due to:
- Allergies: Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates a commonality among allergic sensitivity when gout patients take the drug Allopurinol. If allergies due occur, Krystexxa may be an option.
- Drug interactions: Some gout drugs may interfere with a patient’s other medications. For instance, didanosine (active antiretroviral therapy taken for HIV/AIDs), chlorpropamide (for type 2 diabetes) and warfarin (a type of blood thinner) are known to cause issues when taken with certain traditional gout medications.
- Resistance to medications over time: Patients may become resistant to certain gout pain relieving medications (NSAIDs) over time.
2. How is Krystexxa prescribed?
Krystexxa is taken by gout patients once every 2- to 4-weeks. It can be taken by patients over the long-term without fear of becoming drug resistant.
3. How Krystexxa works
Krystexxa works by metabolizing uric acid into a diureide of glyoxylic acid, known as allantoin, which is up to 10 times more soluble than uric acid and works to dissolve and remove uric acid crystal buildup.
4. Krystexxa studies
Preliminary research shows that Krystexxa helps reduce uric acid levels rather rapidly, for instance:
- The average gout patient taking this drug reported decreased uric acid levels within a 24 hour timeframe.
- Further studies indicate that 42% of gout patients had 6 milligrams per deciliter uric acid levels for a period of 6-months or greater while taking Krystexxa.