How do I take febuxostat and how long does it take to work?
Your doctor may advise you not to start febuxostat until after an acute attack of gout has completely settled. If this isn't possible then febuxostat may be started while the gout is in a mild phase.
Febuxostat is taken as tablets once daily with or without food. The tablet should be swallowed with water.
Your doctor will advise you about the correct dose. Usually you’ll start with 80 mg daily, but your doctor will take regular blood tests and may increase the dose to 120 mg daily if your blood urate level doesn’t come down far enough for the crystals to dissolve.
Once your urate level is low and steady, you should have a blood test every three months to check for side-effects and every six months to check your urate level.
How long does febuxostat take to work?
Febuxostat lowers urate levels within a few weeks. However, urate crystals take much longer to dissolve. Until all of the crystals have dissolved, you may still get acute flares of gout. Acute attacks will normally stop within a year of treatment as long as your blood urate level has lowered.
Febuxostat isn't a treatment for acute attacks of gout and is generally needed for life. It's important to keep taking it (unless you have severe side-effects):
- even if it doesn't seem to be working at first
- even if you have more attacks of gout when you first start febuxostat
- even when you stop having attacks of gout – otherwise urate levels may start to build up again and your symptoms may come back.