has typically been treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But a report presented at the American College of Rheumatology on October 30, 2007 indicates that a new therapy may provide greater relief than NSAIDs.
The research was a trial involving 10 patients with chronic, active, gouty arthritis. They averaged 62 years of age and had gout for an average of 13 years. This trial was a multi-center, non-randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Rilonacept is a potential new therapy being tested for treatment of inflammatory conditions. It acts by preventing interleukin-1 (IL-1) from attaching to cell-surface receptors. IL-1 is a protein secreted by many cells in the body and, if secreted in excess, can trigger activity in gout.
The participants in the study were given 2 weekly injections of a placebo followed by 6 weekly injections of rilonacept. The researchers assessed the patient’s activity by the degree of pain, number of joints with pain and C-reactive protein blood test used to measure inflammation in the body.
From the second through the eighth weeks of treatment, 70% of the patients experienced at least a 50% improvement in pain, and 60% had at least 75% improvement in pain. None of the patients reported improvements from the placebo.
In addition, by week 8 of treatment on the rilonacept, the inflammation levels in the blood had decreased by 59%.
The researchers reported that tolerance to the therapy was good, as there were no reported deaths or serious adverse events, and that this therapy may provide a better option for treatment than NSAIDs.